Nutty and sweet Sicilian Almond Cookies have crispy edges and are soft and chewy on the inside then dusted with powdered sweetener and topped with an almond.
This is a quick and easy recipe with only 5 ingredients, make it in under 30 minutes. We prefer low carb cookies so we substitute the sugar with sweetener for an easy swap.
If you love Italian desserts like I do, you will love these Sicilian almond cookies. You may also find these cookies are often called almond paste cookies, marzipan cookies, Sicilian almond paste cookies or Italian Almond Cookies but we will stick with the traditional Sicilian Almond Cookies.
Some may even call them amaretti cookies, see my Low Carb Amaretti Cookies recipe.
Why you'll love this Sicilian Almond Cookie recipe?
- They come in small bites and only 1g of carbs per cookie.
- They can be made with traditional sugar or sweetener to keep the carbs down for diabetics like me.
- It doesn't take a lot of time or equipment. Make them in under 30 minutes.
- A great cookie option if you are keto, low-carb, gluten-free and dairy free.
- Great snack options for yourself or the kids, easy to throw in lunches for a treat during the middle of the day.
These Sicilian almond cookies are made with just a few simple ingredients and one optional ingredient.
- Almond Flour: ground blanched almonds were used for this recipe which gives it a slightly nutty flavor plus is low carb and gluten free.
- Sweetener: I used powdered erythritol although you can use allulose or monk fruit if you prefer. The original recipe uses traditional sugar.
- Egg Whites: egg whites create a heavier dough that gives up less moisture and steam, this is what you want for these Sicilian almond cookies.
- Vanilla Extract: this brings out all almond flavors in this Sicilian almond paste cookie.
- Almond Extract: some may say this is an optional ingredient but I would say it is a must for these almond cookies.
- Lemon Zest: the optional ingredient but having just a touch of citrusy flavors in this cookie gives it that extra pizzaz.
See the recipe card for quantities.
Steps by step instructions
How to make Sicilian almond cookies?
STEP 1: First preheat your oven to 350°F
In a large mixing bowl whisk together the almond flour and the sweetener.
STEP 2: Now create a well in the center of the bowl and add the wet ingredients (egg whites, vanilla and almond extract. Then zest a lemon over the bowl, I used about a ¼ teaspoon of lemon zest.
STEP 3: Using a rubber spatula combine all the ingredients together until a wet dough forms. If it's still too crumbly add a little more egg white if necessary until you get to a moist consistency.
- STEP 4: the dough should be wet enough for you to use your hands and roll the cookies into a one-inch ball.
STEP 5: After rolling each cookie, roll them in the powdered sugar or sweetener and then place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
STEP 6: Insert an almond on the top of each cookie while slightly pressing down. They will crack a little around the edges and this is the look that we want for these almond paste cookies.
STEP 7: Bake at 350°F for 12-15 minutes. Sicilian almond cookies should be slightly golden and crispy around the edges.
Tips to making these Sicilian Almond Cookies
- Tip One: Be careful not to overbake the cookies. They don't change shape during the baking process so you may not think they are baked but they will be good once you see a very light golden edge around the cookies.
- Tip Two: if after baking the cookies lost their powdered "look" you can sprinkle the tops with more powdered sweetener if you prefer. I prefer them with that slightly powdered look on them. Makes them feel more worldly and rustic.
What to serve with almond paste cookies?
These cookies are perfect with a warm cup of coffee and perfect for dunking as well. They are also great with a cup of tea after a meal.
Italians often enjoy these cookies with a shot of amaretto liquor although the sugar would be high, about 17g of carb per shot. I wonder if a low carb amaretto recipe exists? Hmmmm....
Store the cookies at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 10 days. You can freeze them for up to 3 months.
As a child, I would often see different types of soft almond cookies at Italian weddings and my mother would often make similar cookies with orange zest instead of lemon.
Sometimes I like to top them with peeled almonds. You can simply soak almonds in water overnight and peel them the next day.
There are a few different toppings for these cookies like candied fruit, coffee beans and chocolate.
Frequently asked questions
They are a famous local dessert typical of Sicily although you will find similar variations of this cookie throughout Italy. My family is from Calabria and we also make these types of cookies as well.
Since we replace traditional sugar with sweetener these cookies would be much safer to eat than traditional Sicilian almond cookies.
With only 1g of carbs per cookie, they are likely not going to have an impact on your blood sugars. However, all foods affect everyone differently so please monitor your blood sugars to see how they might affect you personally.
Sicilian Almond Cookies (Low Carb)
- ½ cup low carb sweetener or sweetener of choice
- 15 almonds unsalted and raw
- Preheat the oven to 350F
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the almond flour and sweetener.
- Add the egg whites, vanilla extract, almond extract and the lemon zest and mix together with a rubber spatula until a wet dough forms.
- Using your hands roll out balls of dough about one inch in diameter.
- Roll each cookie ball in powdered sweetener and place on a parchment lined baking sheet.
- Insert an almond on to the tops of the cookies, pressing down slightly to create cracks in the cookie.
- Bake at 350°F for 12-15 minutes or until a very light golden color appears around the edges of the cookies.
This recipe card provides the basic details to make this recipe. For more information, questions or variations please review the content above the recipe card.
Updates and Revisions
If conflicting information between the video and recipe card, the recipe card will always have the most up to date information, ingredients and instructions.
All nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered estimates. Actual nutritional content will vary with brands used, measuring methods, portion sizes and more.
- Cook to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooked food unattended
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove
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