I realize that all the flurry of holiday baking is over but today’s cookie doesn’t require a holiday to bake. Although it would be a perfect cookie to ring in the New Year with!
One of the things I love most about the holidays are cookies although I bake cookies all year round. I am particularly fond of chocolate chip cookies. Some of our family’s favorites are chocolate chip cookies, peanut butter chocolate chip cookies and Nutella Chocolate Chip Cookies. But during the holidays we tend to take it up a notch or two in our cookie baking and today’s recipe for Italian Almond cookies is not your average cookie.
A good friend of mine first had these cookies at a wedding she attended. She came home raving about them. She made a batch and shared them with me and I had to have the recipe. We are huge almond fans at our house and this recipe uses almond paste. Almond paste is usually easily found a the grocery store in the baking section. I got mine at Target.
This cookie has the same texture has a french macaron. It is a bit crispy on the outside but chewy on the inside. Sometimes they are even called Italian Macarons. I love the chewyness of the cookie and the crunch that the slivered almonds on top give the cookie. Lots of good flavor and texture going on all at the same time.
The process is fairly easily. You first beat the almond paste until it forms small pea sized pieces. Mine didn’t do this so I just used my hands and broke it up into small pieces. From there you add in sugar and small pieces will form. Then add in egg whites and beat for about 5 minutes. This will help them puff as they bake.
I then used a piping bag and my biggest round tip and filled it with the batter. I then piped one inch circles about once apart onto a baking sheet covered in parchment paper. I put mine a little too close together and they did bake into each other a bit. Next time I would only put four in a row instead of five. Wet your finger and use it to smooth down the little tip that forms when you pipe. Then sprinkle with some slivered almonds and bake for 10-12 minutes or until they turn golden brown and start to crackle around the edges. Let the cookies cool completely on the parchment paper. A recipe makes about 2 dozen small cookies.
Store the cookies in an airtight container to keep their edges crisp and chewiness in the middle.
These cookies are delicious. They are a nice, light cookie and they practically melt in your mouth!
These Italian Almond Cookies would make a perfect addition to any holiday cookie plate you are putting together this season.
For some other almond goodness check out these recipes.
- 6 oz. tube of almond paste
- 2/3 cup powdered sugar
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 2 large egg whites room temperature
- pinch of salt
- Slivered almonds for sprinkling
- In a mixer place almond paste and blend on low until pea (or smaller) sized pieces form. Approx. 2 minutes
- Add sugar slowly and blend on low until crumbs are smaller about 2 minutes
- Add egg whites in three steps blending well after each addition
- Mix on high speed for 4-5 minutes (set a timer, this step makes them fluffy after baking)
- Fill a pastry bag with batter using a large round tip
- Pipe cookies onto a parchment covered baking sheet.
- Make them about 1 inch in size and place 1 inch apart.
- Using a damp fingertip, smooth out the top.
- Sprinkle with slivered almonds.
- Bake at 375 for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown and edges begin to crack.
- Cool completely on the cookie sheet.
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