A Gazillion Almond Paste Cookies

Almond paste cookies come in a whole slew of fanciful varieties. They are either made with a prepared almond paste, available commercially, or with the almond paste method.

Pasta di Mandorle
Pasta di Mandorle

The almond paste method is really simple: it means first processing equal amounts of almonds and sugar together, then mixing in unbeaten egg white. If you are gluten free, I recommend using this latter method, because commercial pastes often have gluten in them.

Basically all you are doing is making your own almond paste, one that has the appropriate ingredients for that particular cookie.

Almond Paste Cookies
Almond Petit Fours

General categories include:

  • Almond Macaroons, some types.
  • Almond Petit Fours These French cookies come in all kinds of shapes and flavors.
  • Many other cookies, from many countries.

almond macaroons  |   almond petit fours  |   others

Guide to Almond Paste Cookies

Almond Paste Macaroons

Almond paste macaroons are just one of 3 categories of macaroons. They include the famous Nancy Macaroons with their smooth, shiny surface, and the classic Crackled Macaroon recipe, which makes a cookie that's shiny but with a crackled surface.

The other 2 categories are meringue macaroons, and what I call easy macaroons. Between the 3 categories there are so many varieties that I posted an almond macaroon page, where you can learn more.

Almond Petit Fours

Almond Petit Fours come in many flavors, just as macaroons do. But unlike macaroons, they also come in many shapes. Some are piped through a pastry tube into fanciful shapes, and some are cut from slabs of dough or almond paste. Some frosted, some filled, some are little balls.

Some examples of this type of almond paste cookie are:*

  • Almond Crescent Cookies that are coated with sliced almonds. There's a French version called Provençal Crescents (Croissants de Provence), that contains glacé fruits.
  • Bourbons: baton shaped and coffee flavored.
  • Fours Poche, which simply means "almond petit fours piped with a pastry bag." Examples are: Cherry Rosettes decorated with glacéed cherries and Mandarins with orange zest.
    Snowball Cookies
    Snowball Cookies
  • Niçois Suns (Soleils de Nice)thumbprint cookies dating from the 19th century. See thumbprint cookie recipes.
  • Reichembergs: lemon flavored sandwich cookies, filled with raspberry jam.
  • Snowballs (Boules de Neige) Kid approved Snowball Cookies
  • Vanilla Batons (Batons Vanille): almond paste strips with a light icing.

*The Petit Fours in this list are from the fabulous French Cookie Book, where you can find the recipes.


  • Bethmännchen These are traditional Christmas cookies made with prepared almond paste and flavored with rosewater.
  • Italian amaretti, some versions. Like macaroons, some Italian amaretti are made with almond paste, and some with meringue. They differ from macaroons by their inclusion of bitter almonds, which give them a striking almond taste. This recipe uses a prepared almond paste, and is flavored with the liqueur Amaretto in lieu of the bitter almonds.
  • Massepains The name of these Creole cookies is related to marzipan. They contain bitter almonds so have a strong marzipan flavor. You can get the recipes of several variations, including strawberry, in The Picayune Creole Cookbook.
  • Moronchinos are an Italian almond cookie that's a super easy version of almond paste cookie. They are flavored with almond, rose and vanilla, rolled into balls and baked.
  • Pasticcini di Pasta Di Mandorle is a general term for Sicilian cookies made with almond paste, and like the French Petit Fours, they come in many different varieties. Here is a recipe if you can read Italian.
  • Pignoli are Italian pine nut cookies that sometimes contain honey. My friend Sheri over at Foodista posted a pignoli recipe.

Discovering the Almond Cookie

Almond paste cookies are just one type of cookies made with almonds. Explore the many types of almond cookie.

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