Italian Almond Paste Cookies Cafe Style

Saturday, August 17, 2019
Italian Almond Paste Cookies Cafe Style cookies are one of my favorite Italian cookies, with a strong almond flavor they are a must-make and always on our cookie tray during the Christmas holiday baking cookie season.

When we visit our hometown in Central N.Y. (Utica, New York)one of our first stops is the Italian local bakeries which are very popular while sipping a cup of espresso and also in many European bakeries all over Italy.

The flavor is rich sweet fragrant using almond paste in the dough with a crunchy outside and chewy soft baked cookie inside.

These are classic and traditionally found on most Italian wedding cookie trays and certainly, one cookie you'll have etched in your memory if you love the flavor of almond.

Their texture is similar to a macaroon using egg whites and Almond Paste which we also make from scratch, the flavor is just fabulous!

The cookie has been made in our family for over 100 years and continues to be made through the generations of bakers.

Easy to mix, and roll into balls then decorated with pinole nuts of sliced almonds.

With the addition of sliced almonds, pistachios, or pignoli nuts to the top, they are decorated to the nines and just fabulous all the way around from top to bottom in richness and flavor.

Scroll down and print off this authentic traditional Italian Almond Paste Cookie recipe for the best cafe-style cookie you will ever bake!

these are Italian cookies made with almond paste with green tinted almonds on top and some have candied red and green cherries for Christmas with nuts and black coffee in the background

these are Italian cookies made with almond paste with green tinted almonds on top and some have candied red and green cherries for Christmas with nuts and black coffee and lots of holly in the background

Almond Paste Cookies

These are chewy Italian Almond cookies.

Ricciarelli is dense, chewy Italian almond cookies originating in Siena.

They are a distant, and much less fussy, Italian cousin to the French macaron, perfect with tea or espresso!

these are almond paste cafe style Italian cookies that are raw on the silpat mat. These are rolled in pine nuts and then baked.

Bakery Cookies

Growing up in Utica, New York, we had the best bakeries for Italian pastries and cookies.

This is a favorite always on the Christmas trays and as far back as the early 1960s, mom would make them for any Italian wedding tray.

If I had to choose an all-time favorite Italian cookie this is it but still, however, a close second to this one is Italian Anisette biscotti for sure!

this is a platter of almond paste cookies with pine nuts on top tinted green

Original Cookies Date Way Back

The origin of ricciarelli di Siena dates back to the fifteenth century and the almond paste in the form of marzipan or Marzapanetti was once very popular in the town and Siena was famous even outside its territory for its production.

The cookies made with almond paste were reserved for the elaborate banquets of the Lords because they were made of precious ingredients, mainly almonds, and sugar.

They were so valuable and refined that marzipan sweets were sold in the apothecary shops along with drugs and the most exotic spices of the time.

this is almond paste cookies cooling on the cookie sheet

Ingredients You Will Need for Almond Pasta Cookies Cafe Style

scroll down to the recipe card for the exact measurements to print off

  • almond paste
  • egg whites
  • sugar
  • powdered sugar
  • almond flour
  • pure almond extract
  • sliced almonds, pistachios, or pine nuts


The pine nuts on top can be left plain or tinted.

Most of the cafe cookies are tinted in red or green.

Since this batch was made around the Christmas holiday, I tinted them green.

Very easy, place the nuts in a bowl with a few drops of food coloring and water, let sit a few minutes, rinse and blot dry.

this is just one cookie with piginoli nuts on top called Almond Paste Italian cafe cookies usually found at Italian weddings on the cookie tray

Almond Paste Cookie Tips

  • Always place on parchment paper or Silpat mats
  • Do not use a beater when mixing
  • Always use fresh egg whites, not the store-bought carton kinds
  • Liftoff the baking sheets after baking cool on wax paper if using cookie sheets unlined
  • Use colorful tinted nuts for holidays or leave them plain for wedding trays
  • Holiday time use candied cherries in red and green or green-tinted nuts of your choice

these are almond paste raw cookie balls rolled into pine nuts before baking on the silpat mat

this is a collage on how to make almond paste cookies

Pin for later Italian Almond Paste Cookies

these are Italian Almond Paste cookies pin for later recipe

More Of Our Favorite Cookies

Powdered Sugar Wands
Italian Struffoli
Italian Butter Cut Out Dough
Half Moons (black and whites Upstate N.Y. Version)
Italian Pastry for St. Joseph's Day
Grandma's Biscotti Recipe
All Souls Day Cookies

almond paste cookies, chewy almond cookies, ricciarelli, Italian wedding tray cookies, Italian almond paste
cookies, Italian cookies, how-to make almond paste, homemade almond paste cookies, Almond recipes, cookie recipes
Yield: 40
Author: Claudia Lamascolo
Almond Paste Cookies Cafe Style

Almond Paste Cookies Cafe Style

A chewy cookie made with almond paste found on most Italian wedding cookie trays. The cookie dates back to Sienna Italy in the 15th century.
Prep time: 10 MinCook time: 25 MinTotal time: 35 Min


  • 16 ounces - 1 pound ( to make homemade Almond Paste Click here)
  • 4 egg whites slightly beaten ( I have used the egg whites in a carton style or ex-large whites)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar + 2 tablespoons
  • 1 cup of powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1 teaspoon pure almond extract
  • Garnish: around 1 pound of pine nuts, sliced almonds, or whole pistachios


  1. In a food processor add the almond paste and pulse to break it up.
  2. Add in the sugars, with almond flour and pulse until it looks like cornmeal.
  3. Add the egg whites into this mixture and pulse until it forms a dough.
  4. Drop by teaspoons on a lightly greased pan (I use a melon ball scoop for small and medium size for large cookies) at least 2 inches apart.
  5. Add sliced almonds, pistachios, or pine nuts (soaked in green food coloring for decoration) in the center of each cookie. Bake at 325 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Only bake until the edges are a little golden brown. Remove from the cookies to wax paper or wire racks immediately.
  6. Note:
  7. Using pine nuts (pignoli) on top, I put these in a measuring cup with a few tablespoons of water and three drops of green food coloring to make these for the holiday season. You can use any color you like or use plain. The aroma these have baking is just incredible. The almond paste is pure heavenly sweetness.
  8. 24 for more cookie recipe CLICK HERE

Nutrition Facts



Fat (grams)

8.52 g

Sat. Fat (grams)

0.61 g

Carbs (grams)

9.8 g

Fiber (grams)

0.58 g

Net carbs

9.23 g

Sugar (grams)

8.41 g

Protein (grams)

2.19 g

Sodium (milligrams)

5.27 mg

Cholesterol (grams)

0 mg

Pin for later Italian Almond Paste Cookies

Pin for later almond paste cookies with pine nuts

Here are more of our favorite cookie recipes:

Cucidati Fig Sicilian Cookies

24 One-Stop Cookie Shop

Fried Bow Tie Cookies

25 Holiday Cookies

Disclosure: This recipe was originally shared in 2009. It was edited and re-published in 2019.


  1. These look so delicious and cute too! I love almonds in baking!

  2. is this marzipan,claudia

  3. Those look like something I wanna try right now so deliciously delicate and sweet. well done :) kisses xxx

  4. They look so cute. Like Alison asked, is it marzipan?

  5. @Sanjana. thanks :) Alison I beleive marzipan has other ingredients, this is pure almond paste, similar though
    @Ricardo thanks Ricardo...hope you are doing need to post and send something to us on Foodbuzz :)
    @Cheah take a look at this for you and @Alison
    Almond paste is made from ground almonds or almond meal and sugar, typically 50-55%, with a small amount of cooking oil, beaten eggs, heavy cream or corn syrup[1] added to bind the two ingredients. It is similar to marzipan but marzipan contains more sugar than almond paste, and often contains additional ingredients such as food preserves and food coloring. Almond paste has much less sugar, typically 50-55% compared to 75-85% sugar for marzipan of cheap quality (for comparison: Lübecker Marzipan contains 66% almonds). Almond paste is used as a filling in pastries, but it can also be found in chocolates and as a higher quality alternative to marzipan. In commercially manufactured almond paste, ground apricot or peach kernels are sometimes added to keep the cost down.

    In the America, three companies market canned almond paste, with Sokol and Company's Solo Pure Almond Paste being the most popular by unit sales.

  6. I make these. I adore them - just adore them! They seem to be best the day they are baked. Their almondy-taste is heavenly.

  7. Wow, I take a few days off and miss all kinds of goodies! I love these cookies, you always see them on Italian cookie trays or Italina bakeries. It's hard to just eat one or two, they are totally addicting!

  8. Very cool cookie. I love all these awesome cookie recipes!

  9. these look great! I love almonds..i'm baking biscotti at this moment

  10. Great minds think alike... or perhapps it's just the season, but I just made these the other day! :)

  11. @kathy thanks Kathy! would love to try your biscotti also!
    @daydreamdesserts Is your recipe similar? you are right great minds do think alike!
    @stacy thanks!

  12. This is the loveliest, lightest cookie - anything with almond paste - sings amaretti. Great cookie! Will try.

  13. Hi! I just bough almond paste last week--these look divine. If there is almond anything in it, I am happy! Thanks for sharing!

  14. I bought almond paste in the market in Siracusa, Sicily and have been waiting for inspiration. I found it here. Thanks

  15. I bought almond paste in the market in Siracusa, Siciily and have been looking for inspiration. I found it here. Thanks!

  16. I have to tell you again - you need to open an Italian bakery, ASAP!!!

  17. Love these cookies, and the green pine nuts make a great holiday treat of them too!

  18. I love anything with almond flavour in it, and those look amazing :)

  19. I love almond cookies like these!

  20. Good one. Its close to marzipan, but marzipan has no flour.

  21. Those look great! I'll have to keep this in mind when I'm making my own cookies for the holidays :)

  22. Buonissmmo! Thank you very much for sharing, Luna.

  23. Oh gosh I had no idea the ingredients for these lovely cookies were so simple! A must-make for sure!

  24. These cookies are incredible! I made them over the weekend and they were a total hit!

  25. LOVE these cookies! They're just like we get from a local Italian bakery YUM!

  26. My grandmother used to make these, but didn't leave the recipe. There were just the same and everyone loved them. Thank you!

  27. I also grew up in the Utica area and the Italian bakeries there made the most delicious cookies just like this! I can't wait to try this recipe!


Remember to use the search option for a recipe you're looking for and thanks for all your kind words and support. We love our readers all the best Claudia