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Scott Phillips

Yield: Makes about 48 cookies

These cookies from the almond-growing region of Siena date back to at least the 15th century. They’re melt-in-your-mouth tender, but with a nice chew. Their cracked, snowy-white tops make a beautiful addition to a cookie platter, and they’re a great option for those on a gluten-free diet.


  • 3-3/4 cups blanched almond meal flour (such as Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 oz. (1 cup) confectioners’ sugar; more for dusting
  • Finely grated zest of 1 large orange (about 1 Tbs.)
  • 3 large egg whites, at room temperature
  • 1-1/2 Tbs. honey
  • 1/2 tsp. pure almond extract
  • 1/4 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Nutritional Information

  • Nutritional Sample Size per cookie
  • Calories (kcal) : 80
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 40
  • Fat (g): 4
  • Saturated Fat (g): 0
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 2.5
  • Cholesterol (mg): 0
  • Sodium (mg): 0
  • Carbohydrates (g): 8
  • Fiber (g): 1
  • Protein (g): 2


  • Line 4 large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • Pour the almond flour into a large bowl and use your fingers to break up any clumps. Add the granulated sugar, 1/2 cup of the confectioners’ sugar, and the orange zest, and whisk to combine.
  • In a small stainless-steel bowl, beat the egg whites with a hand-held mixer on high speed until they form soft peaks. With a spatula, gently fold the whites into the almond meal mixture. Add the honey and extracts, and mix well. The dough will be stiff and sticky.
  • Put the remaining 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar in a small bowl. Pinch off about 2 tsp. of dough, roll it into a ball, and place it on the baking sheet. Repeat until all the dough is shaped into balls, placing 12 balls per sheet. Roll each ball in the confectioners’ sugar until well coated, then return to the baking sheet and gently pinch the ball into a diamond shape. Let the cookies sit, uncovered, for 1 to 2 hours to firm up and dry out a little.
  • Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 325°F. Bake the cookies, one sheet at a time, until their tops have started to crack and they are barely tinged with gold around the edges, about 12 minutes. Transfer the baking sheets to cooling racks and let cool completely.
  • Dust with more confectioners’ sugar. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.


Rate or Review


  • Ellen_M | 04/09/2018

    Delicious! Unusual and gluten free! I made these several times, I have used lemon peel and orange peel and both are delicious!

  • Drew4412 | 12/07/2016

    Made these for Xmas presents last year and will do again this year. They are delicious. The orange gives them a special touch.

  • Poletta | 12/24/2015


  • chiaradelsol | 12/20/2015

    5* Absolutely delicious. Everyone loved them. Someone preferred the cookies from the first batch which were slightly more cooked than the directions indicated. I used the zest of two oranges.

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