Ricciarelli are a traditional Italian cookie with origin in the Tuscan city of Siena dating to the 14th century. Legend holds that they were introduced by Ricciardetto della Gherardesca in his castle near Volterra upon his return from the Crusades.
Today, the cookies are made using an almond base with sugar, honey and egg white. When prepared in the traditional method, the almonds are ground with a milling machine, and the finished mix is formed into numerous oval- or lozenge-shaped cookies that are set aside for two days before baking. The rough and crackled surface is usually lightly sprinkled with confectioner's sugar.