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Limonetti Cookies, a Gluten-Free Nod to the Amalfi Coast

A crunchy and chewy gluten-free treat, these cookies get their brightness from limoncello.

Limonetti Cookies.

Limonetti Cookies.

Nothing screams summer in Italy like limoncello. This refreshing, lemony liqueur is also the perfect addition to many desserts. I love to reinvent classic recipes and give them a unique twist, which is how my limonetti cookies were born. As a fan of amaretti cookies, I thought it would be fun to use limoncello in place of almond extract. And am I ever glad I gave this idea a try! The result is beyond delicious. The citrus hint isn’t overpowering—it’s just enough to subtly transport you to the Amalfi Coast. They also happen to be naturally gluten-free.

The great thing about this recipe is that it can deliver two very different textures: both crunchy and chewy. If you roll them in granulated sugar, the result is a crunchy exterior, while still keeping a chewy texture inside. But if you prefer gooey and chewy, opt to roll them only in icing sugar, as this will keep them soft. As a side note, if you want a more pronounced lemon flavor, feel free to add two tablespoons of limoncello. It definitely won’t hurt! 

Buon Appetito! 

NOTE: You may notice that I’ve provided measurements in grams for this recipe, and it’s for good reason. I highly recommend using a weight scale for gluten-free baking as it ensures consistent results. It takes some getting used to, but I’ve found this to be the key to perfecting any gluten-free recipe.

Limonetti Cookies

Limonetti Cookies

Recipe by Justin Patulli
4.7 from 3 votes
Servings

4

servings
Prep time

25

minutes
Cooking time

20

minutes

Ingredients

  • Wet Ingredients
  • 3 3 eggs, separated

  • 1 tbsp. 1 limoncello

  • Dry Ingredients
  • 2.5 cups 2.5 (250 grams) almond flour

  • 1 cup 1 (100 grams) granulated sugar

  • Grated zest of 1 lemon

  • Pinch salt

  • Icing sugar and/or granulated sugar for rolling

Directions

  • Preheat the oven to 315°F (convection).
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
  • Separate the egg yolks and egg whites, placing the yolks in a larger bowl and the whites in a smaller bowl.
  • Add a pinch of salt to the egg whites and using an electric hand mixer, beat until they form soft peaks. Set aside.
  • Whisk the egg yolks and granulated sugar, before adding the limoncello and lemon zest.
  • Slowly add the almond flour until the mixture begins to form a dough.
  • Using a spatula, gently fold the egg whites into the dough.
  • Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate the dough for a minimum of 1 hour.
  • With a tablespoon, scoop out the dough and form into small balls. Roll half of the cookies in granulated sugar and the other half in icing sugar. 
  • Place on the lined baking sheet. Bake for 18-20 minutes, until the cookies have crackled and are a light golden color. This may vary by oven. 
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before serving to prevent the cookies from breaking. 
  • Enjoy with coffee, tea, or maybe even a shot of limoncello!

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