Paste di Mandorle (X’mas Almond Pastries)


And so, the long-awaited jolly season officially begins at my house, with a tray full of these colourful, soft almond cookies, heralding the impending gluttonous days that this time of the year invariably brings. And although it only feels it’s been a couple of months since my last Christmas, which I spent back home in Milan with my folks, I cannot help feeling comforted by the glorious festive spirit that my children and I exude as we set off to the kitchen to shape these traditional Italian cookies. Some call them Paste di Mandorle, others call them Amaretti, but Raffi and Miro have duly renamed them Rudolph’s nose cookies!

INGREDIENTS, makes 18-20 cookies

275 gr (1 – 1/3 cup)of caster sugar

300 gr (2- 1/2 cups) of almond meal

2 egg whites

1 teaspoon of vanilla essence

1/4 teaspoon of almond extract

glaceè cherries


1. Place sugar, almond meal, egg whites, vanilla and almond extract in a standing mixer and beat together for 2-3 minutes or until a sticky dough is formed.

2. Roll bits of dough the size of a large walnut and place them onto an oven tray lined with baking paper.

3. Make an indent in each ball of dough with your index finger, then sit a cherry onto each dimple. Shape the rest of the dough into small rectangles (this is the typical Ricciarelli shape), cover them liberally in icing sugar and place them onto the oven tray with the rest of the cookies.



4. Bake at 180 C, 350 F for 18-20 minutes of until the bottom is firm, but the cookies are still pale in colour


5. Allow to cool and further firm up at room temperature before serving

They will keep for up to 1 week in an airtight container


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16 Comments Add yours

  1. DELICIOUS! You know how much I love cookies and I also adore almond “everything” simply perfect 🙂

  2. Thanks Isabelle! Don’t you love this time of the year?

  3. My favorite holiday cookies.

    1. Thanks Jovina! Do you make them too?

  4. They’re beautiful Silvia! And I love “Rudolph’s Nose”…it’s the perfect name!

    1. Thanks! Both Raffi and Miro seemed very happy with the new name too…

  5. So lovely and festive!! Wonderful photos.

    1. I’m so in the mood for the silly season now!

  6. These remind me of when I was a kid! I love their new name too- so cute 😉

    1. Thanks Emilie! Did your Nonna used to make them too?

  7. Pamela Green says:

    Wow! These are so festive and beautiful. I need help though…what is almond meal? Like almond flour??

    1. Yes, it’s almond flour or ground almonds. Hope this helps!

  8. ChgoJohn says:

    These cookies so remind me of my Mom. I can smell the almond. It wasn’t Christmas without them. Thank you for bringing to mind some wonderful memories.

  9. Adri says:

    These look great, and I bet they taste wonderful! Happy holidays to you!

  10. Eli says:

    Buonissimi! E così facili da preparare. Grazie anche a Phil per averci segnalato il tuo bellissimo sito. Buone feste, Eli & Elisa x

  11. Chantalle says:

    Hi Silvia, I was wondering if I can make these Chocolate ( Chocolate paste di mandorle)?
    When it’s possible how do you think is best, Cocoa powder?
    Hope to hear from you.
    Love and Stay safe

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