Friday, October 26, 2012

almond cookies.


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.

Almond Cookies
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. 

11 comments:

  1. Are these made with 100% almond meal or almond/flour? Thx

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    1. Hi Carol - These cookies are made with 100% almond meal. You can use almond meal or almond flour, whatever you have on hand, and both will work with great success. Almond meal is just a slightly coarser version of almond flour so in a cookie like this it doesn't matter! Hope this helps!

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  2. Thank you. I wanted to use the best product for a great cookie!

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  3. Hi,
    The dough is extremely runny....almost impossible to form a ball. Don't know what I could have done wrong?

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    1. Hi Lissa L - The dough should (and definitely is) wet! I usually wet my hands when forming the balls. If you find it super runny, try adding an additional tablespoon of almond meal to make it a little more manageable or using a spoon to form the balls instead of your hands. Let me know how it works out!

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  4. Hi Caity - I tried adding another third cup almond meal, but it was still super runny! I just dropped it in the almonds and "rolled" the best that I could. The flavor is good, but they would hold any shape and baked for about 18 mins. I just wanted to confirm, I just had to add the whites correct? No beating before?

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    1. Correct - no beating of egg whites. I've made these a couple of times and have never had any trouble with them not forming properly (my mom has made them as well!). You definitely used large eggs and not extra-large right? If you used extra-large that would make it runnier since it's a decent amount of extra egg white. Also did you used almond meal or almond flour? Almond flour is slightly finer which may make have an effect. Haven't tested it myself with almond flour so that's just a guess. Glad they still taste good even if they aren't pretty, these are a fan favorite with my friends and sister.

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  5. Thanks! I definitely used large eggs. I actually pulsed my own almond meal...maybe that could have been it. They do tastes nice! I will try buying almond meal next time to see if it helps :)

    Thanks again for you advice!

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  6. Just wanted to thank you for this recipe. Tastes exactly like traditional cookies from Little Italy or the North End but entirely grain free? Our guests who love grains still loved these cookies. These will be on our Christmas menu, they're honestly the best grain free cookies we've tried...and that's a fairly lengthy list! Again, thank you.

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    1. Hi Chris - So glad to hear that. My sister is gluten-free and since discovering these they have become a staple of our Christmas cookie collection (and let's be honest, year round rotation as well). I also have a hard time believing they are grain-free but almond flour is a pretty amazing thing.

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  7. They're not biscotti they're amaretti biscuits from sicily where they wereinvented and they use powdered almonds (100% almond flour) not almond meal.x The Culinary Library

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