Flourless Soft Almond Cookies (Pasticcini di Mandorle) can be soft like marzipan or baked a few minutes more for a slightly crunchy chew. Made with only 4 ingredients, these delicious cookies are naturally gluten free and ideal for Passover or Easter sweetness.
Why you'll love this recipe
When it comes to dunkable, dip-able, cookies with amazingly long shelf life, Italian cookies win the prize. Perhaps this is due to espresso being so much a part of the Italian culture and the obvious need for a cookie to go along side.
Perhaps Italian bakers are just genius. From biscotti to taralli dolce di pasqua (Italian Easter Cookies) to these soft almond cookies, Italian cookies are what your cookie jar and care packages should be filled with.
Flourless Soft Almond Cookies may be the easiest cookie you ever make. There are only four ingredients; almond flour, confectioners’ sugar, lemon zest, and eggs.
There is no mixer required. Just combine the ingredients, roll in confectioners’ sugar, bake, and enjoy. The naturally gluten free, grain free ingredients, make this almond cookie recipe a lovely Passover or Easter treat.
Mandorle are definitely eye catching without any decorating. Should you want to add a bit of spring color, here's an easy way to color the confectioners’ sugar.
Color Kitchen sells little packets of all natural food coloring powder. I bought mine at Whole Foods.
The packets come in red, yellow, and blue, which can be combined to create all the colors of the rainbow. Mixing the powder in a small plastic bag with the confectioners’ sugar colors the sugar in soft pastel hues.
This is an overview of the instructions. The full instructions are in the recipe card below.
- In a large mixing bowl, mix together the almond flour, confectioners’ sugar, and lemon zest. Add the beaten eggs. Mix until combined and dough forms.
- Put ½ cup of confectioners’ sugar in a small separate bowl. Optional: For colored confectioners’ sugar, divide evenly into three ziplock bags. Add ¼ teaspoon of powdered coloring and knead bag until the sugar is evenly colored. Add additional powder in ¼ teaspoon increments until desired color is achieved.
- Scoop dough into slightly rounded 1 tablespoon portions. Roll to coat the dough ball in the confectioners’ sugar. Roll in palm, over the sugar bowl, to form a ball and to remove excess sugar.
- Place cookie balls 2” apart on a parchment lined baking sheet. With a finger, make a small indentation in the middle of each cookie to promote even baking. Bake at 350 degrees F, for 11-12 minutes for soft cookies or 14-15 minutes for slightly crunchy-chewy cookies.
Store soft almond cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one month.
More Italian cookie recipes
Italian Butter Cookies are melt in your mouth cookies with just a bit of crunch. The soft, buttery dough can be piped, used in a cookie press, or rolled into balls.
Taralli Cookies are Italian Easter Cookies, a lightly sweet cookie with a crunchy sugar icing flavored with citrus. So good with a cup of tea or coffee.
Italian Chocolate Cookies have a soft, cake-like texture and a crunchy vanilla icing. Enjoy them with added chocolate chips or chocolate covered raisins.
Biscotti, the most well known Italian dipping and munching cookie, come in many flavors. Take your pick of chocolate espresso biscotti, lemon biscotti, chocolate chip biscotti, or chocolate mint biscotti!
My experience with this recipe
There are rarely any Monday Box recipes that use nuts. I am extremely allergic to tree nuts and can’t even bake with them.
Almonds are a partial exception for me. I can’t eat them, but it doesn’t bother me to bake with them. That said, in order to evaluate the flavor of Flourless Soft Almond Cookies, I had to rely on the reactions and comments of my taste testers.
I can’t tell you first hand that these cookies live up to the rave reviews I read while researching. However, I can tell you that no one I gave them to stopped at one cookie. Two or three cookies into their “taste testing”, each person was still smiling, munching, and muttering some version of, “Mmmmm,” while reaching for another.
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Flourless Soft Almond Cookies (Pasticcini di Mandorle)
- 3 ¼ cups almond flour
- 2 cups confectioners’ sugar plus about ½ cup for coating
- Zest from 1 lemon
- 2 large eggs lightly beaten
- Optional for colored sugar coating:
- 3 packages of Color Kitchen powdered natural food coloring red, blue, yellow
- Preheat oven to 350° F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, mix together the almond flour, confectioners’ sugar, and lemon zest.
- Add the beaten eggs. Mix until combined and dough forms.
- Put ½ cup of confectioners’ sugar in a small bowl.
- Optional: For colored confectioners’ sugar, divide evenly into three ziplock bags. Add ¼ teaspoon of powdered coloring and knead bag until the sugar is evenly colored. Add additional powder in ¼ teaspoon increments until desired color is achieved. (Combine primary colors to create additional shades. Red and blue were combined for the purple coloring.)
- Scoop cookie dough into slightly rounded 1 tablespoon portions. Roll to coat in the confectioners’ sugar. Roll in palm, over the sugar bowl, to form a ball and to remove excess sugar.
- Place 2” apart on the prepared cookie sheet. With a finger, make a small indentation in the middle of each cookie to promote even baking.
- Bake for 11-12 minutes for soft, marzipan-like cookies or 14-15 minutes for slightly crunchy-chewy cookies.
- Remove from the oven and move the cookies onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- Store baked cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one month.
- Almond flour is made from blanched almonds and is very finely ground. Substituting almond meal, made from raw almonds with a ground coarsely, will not produce the same results.
- For more intense almond flavor, add ½-1 teaspoon of almond extract.
- Wrap pairs of cookies, bottoms together, in plastic wrap.
- Stack the wrapped bundles in a freezer weight ziplock bag.
- To use a plastic storage container, layer cookies between sheets of wax paper. Add crumpled tissue paper between the cookie and the lid, if necessary, to prevent ANY movement while shipping.
First Published: March 14, 2018. Last Updated: February 18, 2022. Updated for additional information and better reader experience.
Sandra Natascha Martin
Do you know calorie count for this recipe?
Hi Sandra. I suggest you use a nutrition analyzer to figure out calorie count. Using this one, https://www.verywellfit.com/recipe-nutrition-analyzer , I found the calorie count for these cookies to be about 100 calories each.
These were so easy to make. I left the lemon out and added 1 tbs of almond essence instead. Tasted like the Italian ones I remember growing up. YUM! Do you think the uncooked dough could freeze for later use?
Hi, Tina. I am so glad you enjoyed these cookies. I would appreciate it if you would add a 5 star rating. 🙂 Though I freeze cookie dough all the time, I realized after your question, that I have never tried freezing almond flour dough. I think it should work, but I am not sure. If you try it, please let me know how the cookies turn out!
Thanks for sharing! I love that they can keep awhile! Perfect to keep around for company!
This looks delicious! I love the combo of lemon and almond!
Thanks, Suzanne! I hope you enjoy these beauties!
Made these with pistachio and left out the lemon. They got rave reviews, going to make them next time with the almond meal.
The Monday Box
Hi, Sue.I'm so glad you enjoyed these cookies! Thanks for sharing your successful variation and for writing a comment/review!
Great recipe! I wanted to make sure that almond flavor really came through so I added a handful of crushed almonds and a half teaspoon of almond extract. Came out just fabulous! Thanks!!!
I'm so glad you enjoyed the recipe, Carrie! I think almond lovers will be happy to read about your additions.
These cookies remind me of an almond cookie I had over 6 years ago in Capri. I still dream about them. They were called mandorlati. I got so excited when I read your post. VCan't wait to try them. Love the pastel colours. Love the idea of natural food colourings. Wish they would make gel ones!
Delish! Can't wait to try this recipe. Thanks for sharing with us at #bestoftheweekend
Wendy, these are gorgeous. Whenever I want to make cookies and want something quick and delicious, I make some form of almond macaroons. These are very similar and I love how you dusted them with that gorgeous, naturally colored, confectioners' sugar! So pretty and so tasty. I'd love some with my coffee (incidentally, my son and I recently polished off a small batch of biscotti : ).
Thought these might have almond extract. Do you think they would wo rk with an artificial sweetener?
The Monday Box
Hi Chris. There are only 4 ingredients in these cookies which doesn't leave much wiggle room for changes. I haven't tried making these with something like Swerve powdered sugar, but it might work with a change in texture. I think the Swerve cookies might not be as soft, but I am not sure. If you give it a try, please let me know. 🙂
I just pinned your beautiful cookies! Have a great first week of spring and thanks so much for sharing your awesome post with FULL PLATE THURSDAY!
April J Harris
I just love the colours of your cookies, Wendy, and they look so delicious! They are perfect for a spring afternoon tea. Featuring this post at the Hearth and Soul Link Party this week. Thank you so much for sharing it! Have a lovely week!
What beautiful cookies! I would have never guessed they were so simple to make. Too bad you weren't able to enjoy one, but by the looks and sounds of it you have a winner on your hands anyway!
Helen at the Lazy Gastronome
These are beautiful! Pinned! Thanks for sharing at the What's for Dinner party.
This is such a fun post and I loved learning about coloring the sugar. I love almond cookies of all kinds, and the Italians do seem to have a lot of different ones. This would be perfect for Easter, and I just remembered I have some almond flour I need to pull out and use!
These are beautiful cookies and being an almond flour lover, I already know I would be reaching for a second one too!
The Monday Box
Thanks, Chris! It's hard to believe that these puffy, chewy cookies have no flour! I love that they will work for everyone's spring holidays!