Italian almond paste cookies with leftover almonds on the background

Italian almond paste cookies


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.

There are other almond cookies you can find on the blog are my favorite OAT COOKIES (CLICK HERE) or these grain-free CHOCOLATE CHIPS COOKIES (CLICK HERE).

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”.

Italian almond paste cookies

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Course: SnacksCuisine: ItalianDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time


Resting time



Soft and delicious almond paste cookies ideal for tea time.


  • 1 cup / 200 g almond flour

  • 1 cup / 200 g brown sugar

  • 2 egg whites

  • Lemon zest

How to

  • Peel the lemon avoiding the white parts. Cut in thin stripes and then again in the smallest pieces possible.
  • In a large bowl mix together the almond flour with the sugar the egg whites and the lemon zest. Work the mixture until you get a soft but compact dough.
  • Wet your hands slightly and form little balls of about 1 tbsp each. Cover each ball with the icing sugar that you have poured into a separate small bowl.
  • Place the sugar-coated balls on a tray lined with parchment paper and place a whole almond on top of each ball, pressing lightly. Let the cookies rest in the refrigerator for at least 5 hours or even overnight.
  • After the resting time, transfer everything to abaking pan and cook in pre-heated oven on the medium shelf at 355°F/180°C for about 12 minutes, until they are slightly golden. Once cooled, your almond paste cookies are ready to be tasted.

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