This is a great cookie recipe I picked up this week while assisting with an Italian cooking class at BU. Since we had limited time to create a multi course meal, this cookie was chosen for dessert because of its simple preparation and quick cooking time. I was pleasantly surprised when I looked at the list of only four ingredients and saw that the recipe called for no butter or oil. These cookies could technically be called low fat, and are definitely gluten free. They have a crunchy exterior and chewy interior which reminds me of the French style macaroon cookies that I ate in Paris. The almond flavor is the star in this recipe, so if you love this nut as much as I do you have to give it a try. These are a great way to end a meal when you want something slightly sweet but not heavy. These are also great when crumbled over fresh fruit.
1 lb. shelled blanched almonds, whole or sliced
2 1/2 cup confectioners sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon baking soda
4 large egg whites, at room temperature
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut sheets of parchment to fit 4 cookie sheets (or make in batches).
In a food processor, or by hand, finely chop the almonds. Do not over process. You don't want a fine powder, and it is ok to have some chunks of almonds, you want some texture (see picture). Place the almonds in a large bowl, add the sifted sugar and baking powder. Mix well. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. You can do this by hand, with a stand mixer or a hand mixer. Gently fold the egg whites into the almond/sugar mixture with a rubber spatula a little at a time until combined. The batter will be very thick. Using a tablespoon, shape the batter into small balls and place on the cookie sheet leaving about 1" space between the cookies. They will spread considerably while baking. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until firm to the touch and golden brown. Let them cool completely before removing from the tray or they will break. You can slide the parchment paper with the cookies on it onto a rack to cool.
Makes approximately 2 1/2 dozen cookies.
Adapted from Mary Ann Esposito