These almond paste cookies are a big highlight among Italian pastries. They are part of the tradition of different regions (Apulia and Sicily on top), with some minor variations between different recipes. Only 4 ingredients (optionally 3) are all you need to prepare this mouthwatering treats. So, I suggest you to choose high quality ingredients to achieve the best taste possible.
These almond bites are naturally gluten-free and dairy-free. The dough come together very easily and then it needs to rest for some hours (or even the night) in the fridge. You can also make this ahead and keep the shaped balls in the fridge for up to a week before baking. Likewise, they also freeze well, then they can be baked directly in the oven from frozen (add 1 minute to baking ice in this case).
Moreover, it’s also possible to easily make them look like several different cookies. You will only need to roll them into crushed pistachios, crushed almonds, or even cocoa powder.
Tips and replacements for almond paste cookies
To recreate the perfect taste of this cookies, I would suggest you to not change any of the two main ingredients: egg whites and almond flour. However, you can use hazelnut or pistachio flour for a different take (I would not use lemon zest in this case, but vanilla beans instead).
Also whole almonds can be used: just grind them until fine as a flour and measure the amount once “milled”.