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A plate of Almond Cookies.

Pasticcini di Mandorle, or, Soft Almond Cookies

Note from Rachel Roddy re making these Almond Cookies: "The key to making balls from the sticky mixture is to dust your hands and the dough with lots of confectioners' sugar. The mixture will spread from walnut-size balls into 2-inch cookies, so space them out accordingly and remember that, regardless of how precise you are, they will be different every time.
Course Cookies
Cuisine Italian
Servings 20 to 30 cookies
Author Rachel Roddy, from "My Kitchen in Rome; recipes and notes on Italian cooking"


  • 3 cups 350 g ground almonds
  • 2 cups 200 g confectioners' sugar, plus extra for dusting
  • grated zest of 1 large organic lemon
  • 2 eggs gently beaten with a fork


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Mix the ground almonds, confectioners' sugar, and lemon zest in a large bowl. Add the beaten eggs and, using a fork or your fingers, bring the mixture together to form a soft, sticky dough.
  2. Dust your hands with confectioners' sugar and scoop out a walnut-size lump of dough, then gently shape and roll it between your palms into a ball. Dust the ball with more sugar and put it on the baking sheet. Continue until you have used up all the mixture. Make an indentation in the center of each ball with your finger so that they cook evenly.
  3. Bake for about 14-18 minutes, or until golden brown underneath and cracked, crisp, and very pale gold on top. Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool. They will keep in an airtight tin for up to a month.