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09 August 2009

ITALIAN ALMOND COOKIES


These are about the easiest cookies I know. Light, buttery, not too sweet--just right. I normally cook with metric measures, and weigh my ingredients. For these cookies, you only need equal weights of each of four ingredients: butter, flour, sugar, ground almonds. That’s it. What could be easier? No eggs, no baking powder, no liquids.

But wait, you say, I don’t have a scale in my kitchen. Ok, I’ve translated this recipe for you. It’s still easy, though. You’ll see.

Because these have so few ingredients, I think they have to be very high quality. I use real butter. I don’t think that anything else would give the right flavor to these. This recipe can also very easily be doubled or tripled or quadrupled or even halved, though I’m not sure why you’d want less of them...



For a gluten-free version of this recipe click here.

Ingredients
1/4 lb / 110 g very soft butter
1/2 c / 110 g sugar
3/4 c / 110 g flour
1 c / 110 g ground almonds


  • Mix this all together in a bowl. It will be sort of sandy, and won’t want to stick together. Don’t worry, it’ll come together when you roll it out.
  • Roll it out on a floured work surface. I roll it very thin, using bamboo skewers to guide my rolling pin. That way they’re all the same thickness.
  • Cut them close together--you don’t want a lot of wasted dough, because the more you work with this soft dough, the more flour becomes incorporated into it and the tougher it gets. The least amount of handling is best.
  • I cut them in squares, because I like that shape, and because it’s easier to get them off the work surface when the shape is simple. Stars work too, though!
  • Bake at 350F / 160 C for 10-12 minutes. I set a timer for 11 minutes, then watch them. You want them beige, not brown. Barely colored.
  • Remove from oven and cool on wire racks. I bake them on silpats, which I just slide off the baking sheet onto my counter top, and let them cool there for a minute or two before I transfer them to a rack. They’re less likely to break.

Yield: 5 dozen 1 3/4 inch / 4 cm cookies.


Variations

  • Normally I love to play with recipes and find other ways to do them, but this one is so great as is that frankly, I haven’t messed with it. I think adding other flavors would spoil the delicate butter/almond flavor of this. I’d be happy to be proved wrong, though, so if you find a variation to this recipe, please tell me!

Serving ideas

  • With a cup of tea
  • Three on a plate with small scoops of ice cream on top
  • Piped with pastry cream, surrounded by a berry coulis
  • Take two and make a sandwich with lemon curd in the middle
  • Surround with perfect berries
  • Stacked alternately with chocolate cookies the same size and shape to make cookie towers. Great for small gifts.

  


7 comments:

Kristen said...

I love Italian Almond cookies. These look delicious!

Ninette said...

Wow, this looks like my kind of baking recipe. Easy peasy! I love almond cookies too. Thanks for sharing.

La Table De Nana said...

I am absolutely certain to love these!

Sara @ Our Best Bites said...

I love almond- those look heavenly!

Juliana said...

Nice looking cookies...almond...yummie!

Grace said...

these are PERFECT for cookie sandwiches! they're picture perfect, kate, and i'm sure they're just scrumptious. excellent recipe.

ParisMaddy said...

Delicious. I love the smell of almond extract and L'Occitane's yummy Shea Butter (sweet almond) cream so I'm sure I'd like these cookies. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

P.S. What about a thin layer of white chocolate on the top---would that ruin the works?