Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Italian Almond Cookies {naturally gluten free}

italian almond cookies recipeCrunchy, chewy, sweet and nutty, these cookies are one of the best things to come out of my kitchen over the past two years. They are a twist on the Italian Pine Nut Cookies I fell in love with last year. These cookies are naturally dairy free and gluten free, with just three basic ingredients; almond paste, sugar and egg whites. The end result is truly greater than the list of ingredients. These cookies are like nothing else I have ever tasted.

COOK'S NOTE: Almond Paste can be found in the baking aisle in many grocery stores. It is typically sold in an 8 ounce can. The paste will be very firm and the food processor step is required in order to work with it. The paste will not blend with the other ingredients until it has been broken into a granular mixture.

Italian Almond Cookies {naturally gluten free}
Yield: 30 cookies

8 ounces almond paste (NOT marzipan or almond cake filling)
2/3 cup sugar
2 egg whites
1/4 cup sliced almonds

1/2 cup bittersweet or semi sweet chocolate chips

In the bowl of a food processor, break up the almond paste. I simply used the pulse feature on my processor for a few seconds at a time, scraping the sides as needed. It only took a few minutes to turn the almost rock-hard paste into fine sand-like pieces. Add the sugar in two stages, processing for a few seconds each time to combine.

In a mixing bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold the almond mixture into the egg whites, making sure the mixture is well-combined. Chill the dough in the refrigerator for at least one hour.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line a baking sheet with a silpat mat or parchment paper (This is required for these cookies. They will stick to the baking sheet without it.)

Drop the dough by teaspoonfuls onto the baking sheet. Press a few sliced almonds into the top of each cookie, pressing down slightly to flatten each ball of dough. Bake for 14-15 minutes, until each cookie is just barely browned at the edge. Cool 2 minutes on the baking sheet before removing to a wire rack. Let the cookies cool completely before drizzling with chocolate.

Place the chocolate in a glass dish and melt in the microwave 30-60 seconds at a time at 50% power, stirring at intervals. Drizzle or dip the cookies as desired and place them on a parchment lined tray and chill until firm. Enjoy!
italian almond cookies recipe

Click here for printable recipe

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ONE YEAR AGO TODAY: Key Lime Honey Winter Fruit Salad

TWO YEARS AGO TODAY: Italian Red Wine Roast Beef


  1. I have to make these! We don't have almond paste here but we do have marzipan, which I've always used interchangeably. So I might just have to ignore your warning. ;) OR! I could just look up a recipe on how to make almond paste.

    Anyway, thanks so much for this recipe! I'll let you know how they come out once I make them. :)

    1. I think the most important thing is to make sure the only ingredients in the almond paste (or marzipan) are almonds and sugar. It's my understanding that marzipan can have additional ingredients as well. If you do try it, let me know how it works for you!

  2. Almond paste us usually 50:50 almonds to sugar, while Marzipan is usually 60:40, sugar to almonds. Providing your Marzipan ingredients are just almonds and sugar (no other ingredients), you could try decreasing the sugar in the recipe by 10%, by weight. If you have almond flour or want to grind some almonds you could add in 10% almond flour, by weight.

    1. Thank you! That's actually very helpful. I just remembered hearing/reading that they were not interchangeable in this type of recipe. I appreciate the tips!

  3. To make your own almond paste, add 1 1/2 cup blanched almonds, 1 1/2 cup of powdered sugar, 1 egg white and 1 1/2 teaspoon of almond flavoring to a food processer and process until smooth. Makes 1 1/2 cups of almond paste. Store any extra in a air tight container.