Friday, February 11, 2011

Ricciarelli or Almond Macaroons - Grain Free

I don't know about you, but I have numerous cookbooks where I tried several recipes from them and either wasn't impressed or completed disappointed. This summer I decided to do away with those less than satisfactory cookbooks and into the trash they went. Now I have my favorites left and at the top of that list is my cookbooks from Nigella Lawson. I've made dozens of her recipes and have had great success with almost all of them. There has been one or two recipes along the way that I didn't love quite as much as others, but that was more personal preference than it was the fault of a poor written or simply bad recipe.  I know I can pick up one of her cookbooks find a recipe that sounds/looks good and it will turn out, which equals a good cookbook to me. Well, these little superb Ricciarelli or Almond Macaroons from Nigella's How To Be a Domestic Goddess, didn't let me down!

I have been making a lot of baby custard (cream, milk, egg yolks, stevia and vanilla) for by daughter. She loves it. The only problem is I have 6 egg whites leftover after each batch of custard. So I've been trying to find more recipes I can use them up in. This particular recipe appealed to me because I love almonds and it also has lemon in it, which I find myself desiring a lot during the winter months.

The original recipe calls for ground blanched almonds. I ground my own almonds, but skipped the blanching part. It was simply one extra step I didn't feel like taking. This left my macaroons a bit darker because of the almond skins, but still delightful to munch on.

Oh, there is one problem with these little cookies, it's very, very difficult to stop with just one, or two, well actually even three or four! You should also consider a hot cup of tea or coffee, a good book and a warm, sunny window to sit by. I mean if you are going to enjoy these gems, than you might as well do it right!

What You'll Need
makes about 34 
2 large egg whites
pinch of salt
3/4 cup sugar
zest of 1 lemon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 1/3 cups ground almonds or 2 1/4 cups or 18ounces whole blanched almonds, ground
confectioners' sugar for dusting

1. Line 1-2 cookie sheets with parchment paper. Whisk or beat egg whites and salt until they're stiff and dry, then gradually add in the sugar until whites have a marshmallowy consistency.

2. Next add the lemon zest, vanilla extract, almond extract and ground almonds. Mix until mixture resembles a hard paste.

3. Roll mixture into small 3/4" or so balls, then dust your fingers with a bit of confectioner sugar and shape balls into small diamonds. Place them on a parchment lined cookie sheet.

4. Allow cookies to dry out overnight. The next day preheat oven to 250° and bake cookies for 30 minutes. They should be slightly cracked when they're done.

5. Once they've cooled dust with confectioners' sugar and enjoy!


  1. I love traditional medicinal teas (I couldn't help but notice!) and I love how you are trying to find more recipes to use up those extra egg whites (this is exactly how I think). These macaroons look just delightful. A wonderful mid-day snack. Thank you for sharing!

  2. I agree that Nigella has some awesome recipes. This one is definitely a keeper. It is so nice that you found a great recipe to use up those egg whites.

  3. Whether you like a cookbook or not (apart from if the recipes actually work or not) is down to the personal taste of the author and whether it coincides with yours. I share many of Nigella's food passions (although her tooth is far sweeter than mine). If almonds are involved my whole family love it. Great explanatory photos and directions as always. Three cheers for the custard too!


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