Sicilian Almond Cookies {gluten and dairy free}


If you are looking for an easy, quick and delicious cookie recipe, then you must try these Sicilian-style almond cookies. I love this recipe so much and I’m happy to finally share it with you.

All you need to make these soft and fragrant Sicilian Almond Cookies are 3 ingredients: almonds, sugar, egg whites. These cookies are naturally dairy and gluten free.

A few weeks ago I met my friends at Creating for Good for our monthly catch up (SAVE THE DATE for our Christmas Party on the 9th December!).

Candids by Jo kindly hosted the meeting and cooked us delicious wontons for dinner, so I wanted to contribute to the meal with a sweet treat. I was back home for a just a few days in between trips and I was swamped by work deadlines. I needed a quick recipe, something yummy to bake in one hour or less, using ingredients from my pantry.

Soft Sicilian Almonds Cookies (dairy and gluten free)

I found this recipe for almond cookies in a little book dedicated entirely to Italian biscuit recipes. It required a few ingredients and was quick to make, so it was perfect!

They are called almond ‘macaroons’ in the book, but I find the name somewhat misleading or at least confusing. Maybe it’s just me who gets confused between cookies, macaroons and macarons all the time!

When I eat these cookies, I am reminded of the marzipan cookies found in southern Italy. I think of ‘biscotti alla pasta di mandorle’ I bought on holiday in Sicily; or the marzipan cookies my dad used to bring back from work trips to Calabria.

Soft Sicilian Almonds Cookies (dairy and gluten free)

Made just with almonds, sugar and egg whites, these cookies are crunchy and dry on the outside, incredibly soft and fragrant on the inside.

My friends loved them, so I decided to make them again last week for a friend’s birthday party. Once again, I received so much praise for these Sicilian-style almond cookies. The best part is that it takes so little time and effort to make them!

Soft Sicilian Almonds Cookies (dairy and gluten free)

A delicious pairing with Jing Tea ceylon & rose bud tea

Soft Sicilian Almonds Cookies (dairy and gluten free)

A few notes about this recipe: I prefer to use unblanched almonds and grind them in a food processor, just so I can be sure of the quality of the nuts. Obviously, you can use store-bought almond flour or ground blanched almonds too.

The cookies are naturally dairy and gluten free.

Use whole almonds, almonds slivers, pine nuts or candied fruit to decorate the cookies in a traditional Sicilian style.

Soft Sicilian Almond Cookies (dairy and gluten free)

Sicilian-style Almond Cookies


Yields around 25-30 cookies

  • 300g almonds
  • 200g sugar
  • 3 egg whites
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • zest of 1 lime (optional)


Preheat the oven to 190°C.

Grind the almonds and sugar in a food processor until the texture is fine.

In a medium-sized mixing bowl, lightly beat the egg whites. Add the almond-sugar mixture and the zest. Mix well with a spatula until you have a sticky cookie dough.

Line two baking trays with baking paper. Lightly wet the tips of your fingers with water and shape the dough into small balls. You can use a cookie scoop at this stage if you have one, it will help you achieve same size cookies.

Soft Sicilian Almonds Cookies (dairy and gluten free)

Transfer the dough balls onto the lined trays, spacing them 2cm apart. To decorate, place one almond on top of each cookie, lightly pushing it into the dough.

Leave the cookies out at room temperature for 30’ to 1 hour to allow a crust to form before baking.

Bake for 10-12 minutes, until golden.

Soft Sicilian Almonds Cookies (dairy and gluten free)

Store in an airtight container outside the fridge for up to one week.

Love this recipe? Try also these gluten free Pistachio cookies or these Coconut Macaroons with dark chocolate.

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