I made my version of these 4 or 5 years ago doing research for a magazine article. They are delicious and very moreish. Originally a macaroon style biscuit form Siena in Italy and often given as Christmas gifts. As I have a love of most things Italian they are a staple on my baking list!
I decided to change the tradition shape from a lozenge to heart shaped and to use some lovely coloured rice paper (wafer paper) sheets I bought from Squires Kitchen earlier in the year.
Download the recipe here: ricciarelli-hearts
200g ground almonds
200g icing sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 egg whites
1 tsp vanilla extract
Grated zest of 1 lemon
1 tbsp runny honey
2-3 large rice paper sheets (approx 28 x 18 cm each) coloured if you can get them
A little icing sugar to dust with
Oven preheat 180°C (160°C Fan) GM4
Sieve the icing sugar in to a large mixing bowl, add the ground almonds and baking powder and stir.
Add in the vanilla, lemon zest and honey and briefly stir through, it will be crumbly and uneven in texture at this stage. It will all come together later when you add the egg whites.
In a very clean bowl whisk the egg whites until they form stiff peaks. Add the whisked egg whites to the bowl with the other ingredients and mix well until you have a lump of sticky dough. Wrap the dough in clingfilm and place in the fridge for at least 6 hours, preferably overnight.
When you are nearly ready to bake them, preheat the oven. Prepare the rice paper by cutting out some heart shapes. Use the template to help you or make your own measuring about 6cm at the widest across, and about 6 cm from the dip at the top to the point at the bottom. You’ll need 20 of these.
Download the A4 sized template from www.samskitchen.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/hearts.jpg
Divide the dough mixture in to 20 fairly equal sizes (I weigh mine to get it equal), then using your hands shape them into a rough heart shape to fit on the rice paper , so they are just inside by a few millimetres all round (they expand over this when baked). Repeat with them all. Place them on the baking trays making sure you leave a gap around each. Dust with icing sugar.
Bake for about 10 minutes until golden. Leave to firm up for a few minutes on the baking tray then transfer to a cooling rack. They keep well in a tin and actually taste even better the day after baking. Enjoy ♥