Siena is with no doubt the sweetest town of Tuscany! The products of its confectionery are famous all over the world. And the ricciarelli, along with panforte, are perhaps the most famous ones from Siena.
The origin of these delicious biscuits is exotic because their taste and smell remind of the East. According to the legend a Sienese crusader, Ricciarello della Gherardesca, coming back to his castle near Volterra after fighting in the Holy Land, brought the recipe of these foreign biscuits, the shape of which reminded of the Turkish sleepers.
According to a folk tradition it seems they are the result of a mistake! In the convent of the Servants of Mary, an impatient nun put to dry the traditional marzipan biscuits at a temperature too high, cooking them too much and change them into crunchy and curling “ricciarelli”.
Ingredients: sweet almonds, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, eggs, wafer, honey.
Grind the almonds and mix them with the egg white, honey, sugar, baking powder and the spices. Mix well the dough and shape the biscuits with the ricciarelli mould. Put them on a baking-tin, sprinkle with icing-sugar and cook up to 180°C for about 25 minutes.