A cup of tea deserves a little treat alongside it and I have just the thing for the occasion – Ricciarelli cookies. Originating from Sienna in Italy, these almond paste cookies could not be easier to make. I have added Earl Grey tea and lemon zest to mine and although they are not much to look at they are absolutely delightful to eat and they are naturally gluten-free as well. These little treats can be flavoured with other teas as well (Chai would be interesting) and since they keep well would be perfect for an edible Christmas gift.
Earl Grey Ricciarelli Cookies
200g | 7oz ground almonds
200g | 7oz icing sugar plus extra to roll cookies in
60g | 2oz egg whites (from 2 large eggs)
1/2 tbsp Jing Earl Grey tea
zest of 1 unwaxed lemon
1 tsp lemon juice
- Put the tea in a pestle and mortar and grind to a fine powder.
- Using a stand or hand mixer, whisk the egg whites and lemon juice until you have soft peaks.
- Sift the icing sugar and ground almonds over the whisked eggs and add the zest and tea. Fold everything together until you have a fairly firm paste.
- Form the paste into a log shape, cover with clingfilm and chill in the fridge for an hour or overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 160C (325F). Line two heavy trays with baking paper. Fill a shallow plate with icing sugar.
- Cut walnut sized chunks out of your paste and shape into little balls on the palm of your hand. Flatten to a disk (or shape them as you like – diamond shape is traditional) and then roll in the icing sugar and place on the prepared tray.
- Repeat with the rest of the cookie dough and then bake for 12-15 minutes. When you take the cookies out of the oven they will still be quite soft. Carefully transfer onto a cooling rack with a spatula and leave to cool. Once they cool down the exterior will become crisper while the centres will still be soft.
- Keep in a cookie tin and enjoy over the week or wrap and give away as presents.
> One winner will receive a Glass Jing Gong Fu Tea Set.