February 9, 2013 by Tamika
I must confess to a complicated relationship with nuts (as I sit here eating almond butter with bananas on rice cakes). I like them sprinkled in salads, in Middle Eastern food (ground pistachios in Kefte, hells yes), ground in various pesto, and alone as a snack (sometimes). I don’t like them in cookies, brownies, tossed in pies or tarts, BUT I do like them as the main ingredient in cakes, a lovely Hazelnut Cake, or Almond Torte, where they are primarily ground and the main event, highlighted only with spice and sweet (and a little salt if you’re me).
These Almond cookies represent mini gateau! I found them on Leite’s Culinaria, called Almond Biscotti, of course unlike any biscotti I’ve ever made, or eaten, or seen.
Make them in this cute little pyramid shape, I’ve tried other shapes but they just aren’t as moist (see the little ones to the left in the photo above? they were dry).
I changed the recipe very little, added some lemon zest, omitted almond extract (see, there is that complicated relationship again), cut sugar a bit, upped almond flour. I have ground my own almonds into meal, in an effort to save money, I didn’t get as fine a grind before the almonds wanted to be butter, you may have better luck, I find Bob’s Red Mill Almond Meal is terrific.
Almond Cookies (gluten and grain free) makes about 28
5 cups almond meal
1 1/2 cups organic cugar
6 egg white (Planning tip: save your yolks and make lemon curd!)
zest of one lemon and one small orange or clementine
2 tsp vanilla extract
whole sliced almonds for coating cookies
powdered sugar for dusting
Preheat oven to 350. prepare baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a food processor add half the almond meal (no need to be exact) and all the sugar, pulsing on/ off for 30 seconds. This is to grind the sugar down into superfine.
In the bowl of a stand mixer (or a deep bowl using a hand mixer) add all the almond meal, sugar, egg white and beat for a minute on medium speed. Add vanilla and zest, beat on medium for a couple of minutes until well combined and the almond meal looks to be absorbing the egg white.
Using about 2 tablespoons of dough, shape into little pyramids, I find it necessary to wet my hands from time to time to keep the dough from sticking. Roll them in the sliced almonds and place on a baking sheet. You’ll get the hang of it!
Bake at 350 for 13-16 minutes, until they are golden on the edges. Let cool completely before dusting with powdered sugar. These keep very well stored in an airtight jar or container. The won’t have to keep long though:
Anecdote: While selling my gluten free baked goods at a farmer’s market recently a woman handed me $5 and pointed at the almond cookies, I handed her a bag with 3 (they are 3 for $5), she said she only wanted one so I gave her one, she took a bite, I started to hand her change when she suddenly grabbed the bag with the other two cookies exclaiming “Oh my, never mind, I need these!” and laughed! I think you’ll feel the same way!