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Gluten Free Ritornelli Cookies

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Gluten Free Ritornelli Cookies

If you have ever been to Italy, you know we like to do breakfast a little differently… No scrambled eggs nor pancakes… we dip cookies!!!

“Latte & Biscotti” (cookies and milk) is the most common meal every kid starts their day with. In particular, Ritornelli, rustic cookies that are very dear to any Italian kid, grown up kid or childhood nostalgic… are the perfect kind of breakfast cookies!

They are delicious striped biscuits made with cocoa powder and almond flour according to an old recipe. Each color has its own delicious flavor: the rich, chocolaty one an the sweet nutty taste with a tinge of vanilla. And thanks to this new version I created, you’ll be able to enjoy Ritornelli with no guilt!

In fact, as always, I recreated a healthy gluten free recipe for my beloved Italian cookies: they are fragrant, delicious and melt in your mouth. And what makes them even better is that these cookies are perfect for anybody with food allergies, as they are completely grain free and can be made nut free as well simply by replacing rice flour with cassava flour and substituting almond meal with tigernut flour. The ones here in the photos were made following the allergy friendly version and, as you can see, they came out perfect!

And did I mention these healthy Italian cookies are dairy free and egg free as well?!?
Rest assured: what they are not lacking is flavor! They are deliciously addictive and I am sure they will enhance your breakfast and give it an exotic, Italian twist.

Pour yourself a mug of hot plant based milk and start dipping!! That’ s how we do breakfast in Italy… and it’s a lot of fun!

Gluten Free Ritornelli Cookies





No. of


For the Brown Layer

  • 35 gr Cocoa Powder
  • 35 gr Coconut Milk
  • 35 gr Raw Honey
  • 10 gr Coconut Oil (melted)
  • 10 gr 99% Dark Chocolate (melted)
  • 60 gr Rice Fluor (OR Cassava Flour if you can’t tolerate grains)

For the White Layer

  • 100 gr Rice Fluor (OR Cassava Flour if you can’t tolerate grains)
  • 30 gr Almond Flour (OR Tigernut Flour if you can’t tolerate nuts)
  • 40 gr Coconut Milk
  • 10 gr Coconut Oil (melted)
  • 35 gr Raw Honey
  • 1/8 tsp Vanilla Extract
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  2. Combine cocoa, coconut milk and agave in a bowl and mix well until you get a very smooth cream.
  3. Add in the melted coconut oil and melted chocolate, mix well and lastly add in the cassava flour.
  4. Knead the dark dough by hand for a few minutes, then transfer it on a wooden board and roll it down with a rolling pin until 1/4 of an inch thick.
  5. Prepare the white dough by mixing cassava and tigernut flour in a bowl.
  6. Add in the melted coconut oil, the coconut milk, agave and vanilla extract.
  7. Knead well for a few minutes then transfer the white dough on top of the flattened dark dough and roll it down with a rolling pin until it covers completely the dark layer on the bottom. Make sure the 2 layers have the same thickness, then cut away the rims that are only one color (if any).
  8. Once you have two layers of dough (the white atop the black), cut away a stripe of dough and place it neatly on top of another stripe so that it’s completely flush, creating a sandwich. You should now have four layers total. After each new layer, press down the tower lightly with the rolling pin to make it stick together, careful not to press to hard to compress the tower.
  9. Then move the 4 layer wall and place it on top of the remaining dough. Cut away the flush stripe, creating a 6 layer wall. Continue this process, moving the new stack of layers on top of the remaining dough, until you run out of dough and you created a very tall tower of layers. You should have 6 layers, 12 stripes in total.
  10. Flip the tall multilayered dough carefully onto the cutting board, cut it in stripes 1/4 of an inch thick and make rectangular cookies.
  11. Place your Ritornelli cookies on a baking pan lined with parchment paper. Bake for 20 minutes and let them cool down completely before serving.

I hope you enjoyed this healthy gluten free recipe and if you want to make each bite even more indulgent, place a piece of 99% dark chocolate on top of your gluten free Ritornelli and you’ll have the best texture sensation ever!!

If you had fun baking these healthy Italian cookies, and for more sweet, healthy recipes, check out my recipe book “Healthy Italian Desserts Made Simple” that collects over 75 amazing treats that you can enjoy with no guilt!!

Ciao and happy breakfast!!


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Ambra Torelli
Born and raised in Italy, Ambra visited over 20 countries and now she divides her time in between Italy and the US, where her husband is from and where she moved in 2011 work as university professor of Italian Literature. She writes about food, travel and things that inspire her! more about ambra

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  • Avatar
    Maura January 30, 2018 3:15 pm

    Grazie for this delicious recipe, multo bene!

    • ambra
      ambra January 31, 2018 1:11 am

      Thanks so much for the lovely feedback Maura! So sweet of you!

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