These delicious gluten-free Italian cookies are light and pillowy with a slightly chewy texture — reminding me of a lighter version of marzipan. Delicious — and completely gluten-free.
Timing Note: Allow enough time in your schedule to let the cookies sit for at least an hour before they go into the oven.
3 3/4 c. Almond Flour (Bob’s Red Mill)
3/4 c. Sugar
½ c. Powdered Sugar + another ½ cup for dusting (1 c. total)
1 T. Orange zest
3 Large egg whites (room temp.)*
1 ½ T. Honey
½ t. Almond Extract
1/4 t. Vanilla Extract
Additional Powdered Sugar for Finishing.
Prep: Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper. Bring eggs to room temperature.*
- Whisk together almond flour, sugar, ½ c. powdered sugar and orange zest in a large bowl.
- Using a stand mixer or hand-held mixer, beat egg whites on high speed until they reach soft peak stage.
- Gently fold egg whites into the almond flour mixture with a rubber spatula.
- Add honey, almond extract and vanilla extract to the mixture and mix well. (The dough will be sticky and somewhat stiff.)
- Form the dough into small teaspoon-size round balls. Toss each ball into the reserved 1/2 c. powdered sugar and coat evenly. Place on the prepared baking sheet, at least two inches apart. Gently press each ball into a diamond shape, pinching the corners.** You should have approximately 24 cookies or two sheets of 12.
- Let the cookies rest for one to two hours to dry out a bit. This helps keep the baked cookie from being too chewy.
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place one pan of cookies onto the center rack of the oven. Bake for 10 – 12 minutes (depending on the size of the cookies), until the edges are slightly golden. Repeat.
- Cool on a wire rack. Dust with more powdered sugar once they are cool.
- Store in an airtight container. These will keep for at least three days and up to a week.
*To bring cold eggs to room temperature, place them in a bowl of hot (not boiling) tap water for 2 to 3 minutes.
** Diamonds sound easier to shape than I found them to be. The cookies will puff out a bit, so don’t be afraid to exaggerate the corners. Otherwise, you’ll have equally delicious puffy squares or Marcella’s ugly lumps.
Quantity: This recipe can be doubled easily — just watch the volume of egg whites. Start with 5, adding a 6th if the batter seems dry. I found this out the hard way. I added a full 1 cup of powdered sugar to the dough mixture and had to compensate by doubling the rest of the ingredients. I am glad they tasted so good, because Almond flour is a precious commodity these days!
Adapted from “Fine Cooking,” Dec. 2015/Jan. 2016
- Prep Time: 30-40 minutes plus resting time.
- Cook Time: 12 minutes
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Bake
- Cuisine: Italian
Keywords: Gluten-Free Italian Cookies, Almond Cookies, Gluten-Free Baking, Gluten-Free Cookies, Almond Flour, Nut Cookie, Italian Cookie, Cookie