22 Nov 2012

Arden & Amici Almond Ricciarelli Review

It's now Day 4 of Arden & Amici Week and the time is flying by! Today I felt like reviewing something that is a little bit different. These Ricciarelli are a traditional Italian biscuit that originated in the town of Siena, Tuscany, dating back to the 13th Century. I studied History for many years so naturally I love finding out about such distant origins. The legend surrounding these Ricciarelli biscuits is based on a Sienese adventurer, Ricciardetto della Gherardesca, who apparently ate these delicious biscuits during a crusade sometime around 1250. He loved them so much that brought back the recipe and had them made for guests at his castle near Volterra. It's an intriguing story to go with this regional delicacy.

The Ricciarelli biscuits are traditionally made using an almond base with sugar, honey and egg whites. The rough and crackled surface is then covered with icing sugar. They are made in moulds which are often described as "boat shaped". I can't help but see them as being almond shaped, reflecting the delicious flavour within.

Ricciarelli biscuits are traditionally eaten at Christmas, making them a perfect addition to the Arden & Amici festive Italian bakery range. The ingredients are simple but they are full of flavour. The base of these biscuits is made of almonds without any flour, making them a perfect gluten and wheat free treat. They are an intense almond experience with a soft and slightly chewy texture. If you are fond of marzipan or almond based desserts then you will love these.

These Almond Ricciarelli are extremely sweet, the layer of icing sugar on top is quite thick too, so having a strong cup of coffee or espresso alongside them is a must. They are completely different to anything I have eaten before and I'm so glad to have been introduced to these little regional treats.

They look so pretty with their boat (or almond!) shape and would look great served up with coffee at the end of a meal. I couldn't resist adding an extra sprinkling of icing sugar too.

Arden & Amici have also released a Cocoa Ricciarelli which I cannot wait to try, I will be reviewing them in the next few weeks. They also contain an almond base but with the addition of cocoa powder, which sounds absolutely delicious!

The Arden & Amici Almond Ricciarelli and Cocoa Ricciarelli are available in Waitrose for £5.69 each. Have you ever tried Ricciarelli before? If you have tried them in Italy I would love to hear from you!

Take a look at my other reviews from Arden & Amici Week:

Arden & Amici Panforte
Arden & Amici Classic Panettone
Arden & Amici Chocolate Chip Panettone


  1. I've tried ricciarelli biscuits back in February, but they were made by Corsini. I also remember trying something similar from Midi (also made with almonds and without flour, also soft) in early 2010.

    I'm a huge fan of most things made with almonds, so I obviously love this kind of biscuits. I love the almond taste, I love that they're soft. The only thing I have a problem with is the sugar icing on top. I actually have a problem with having sugar on top of anything - doughnuts, pandoro (that's why I never use the sugar that comes in pandoro boxes).

  2. Hi Ana,
    That is so interesting and I love the pictures in your links. Those ricciarelli biscuits look much more rustic but very appetising.

    I can see what you mean about the sugar on top, they do have a generous coating. I have a very sweet tooth so it doesn't put me off but I can see that not everyone would like so much sugar.

    Thank you for your insights!

  3. Great review and fantastic pictures. I can almost taste the Ricciarelli!


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