Almond paste cookies
Makes about 40 cookies.
1 2/3 cups blanched almonds
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 extra-large egg whites
1 3/4 cups confectioner’s sugar
Preheat the oven to 375ºF.
In a food processor, grind the almonds and granulated sugar to a very fine
powder, about 3 minutes. Pile the almond and the sugar mixture on a counter
and stir in the honey and almond extract with a fork. Beat the egg whites lightly,
just to blend, and stir in 1/4 cup of the beaten egg whites; if the dough
is not soft and tacky, add more egg whites by the teaspoon(you will not need
all the egg whites; do not add too much or the dough will be too wet).
Sprinkle 1 1/2 cups of the confectioner’s sugar on the counter.
Roll the dough into a log over confectioner’s sugar. Snip into walnut-sized
pieces and roll each into a ball, coating the outside well with the confectioner’s
sugar. The confectioner’s sugar should remain on the outside of the dough
rather than be incorporated in it.
Line two 11x17 inch baking sheets with parchment paper. Place the cookies on
the baking sheets, about 1 inch apart. Bake in the preheated oven for 6 minutes,
or until the surface cracks and blisters. The cookies will be pale and soft
and will have flattened considerably; do not over bake or they will dry. While
they are still warm and pliable, gently press opposing edges of each cookie
toward the center with both hands to obtain a slightly conical mound. Cool
the cookies to room temperature on a rack. Dust with the remaining 1/4 cup
of confectioner’s sugar and serve. (Micol
Negrin, Rustico Regional Italian Country Cooking, 2002)