I will be the first to admit that I am a chocoholic through and through. I gravitate towards desserts that contain the darkest chocolate possible and some kind of fruit or sea salt (because those are chocolates best friend) but on occasion (and this is very rare) I crave a palate cleanser cookie or dessert, something devoid of chocolate and multiple add-ins. The kind of cookie that’s rustic and reminds you of simpler times when cookies consisted of a handful of top quality ingredients. My go to cookie when these moments arose were ginger cookies (I still adore ginger cookies. The best one I’ve ever had can be found at the Bent Spoon in Princeton. It’s love at first bite) but I recently came across a recipe for an almond cookie that intrigued me. The ingredients reminded me of a macaron or an old-school Italian pignoli cookie. It took me all of a week to convince myself I needed to make them and then another three days to devour all of them. These are absurdly good - they have a texture similar to marzipan and the orange zest provides the perfect flavor (and works oh so well with the almonds). They are also beyond easy, no mixer and no fancy ingredients, just a perfect simple cookie.
Recipe from Leities Culinaria
Leitie's called these Almond Biscotti, but that just seemed silly to me since they are surely not like any biscotti I've ever met. I think its safe to say you can call them a cookie.
2 1/3 cups almond meal
1 cup superfine sugar (or you can blitz regular sugar in a blender until super ground, or you can just be lazy like I was and use regular sugar)
3 large egg whites
Grated zest of 1 orange, preferably organic
2 teaspoons almond extract
2 cups sliced or flaked almonds
2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat.
Combine the almond meal, sugar, egg whites, orange zest, and almond extract in a bowl, stirring well. Place the almonds in a separate bowl. Roll a tablespoon of the biscotti mixture into a rough ball, then roll the ball in the almonds. Using your thumb and forefinger, and middle finger, pinch the ball into a rough pyramid shape. Stand the pyramid on the parchment lined sheet, and repeat with the remaining dough.
Bake the cookies for 10 to 12 minutes, until lightly browned. Let cool, then dust with confectioners’ sugar. You can store the cookies in an airtight container for up to several days as long as its not terribly humid.