I know it’s not technically possible, but anyone looking in my cupboard would swear that I have all the almonds from the state of California. I know, I’m exaggerating, but it does seem that way. See, I’m still working through the swag from the almond event I went to back in November. The almond slices and slivers are unopened but I started to get concerned about the 3 pounds of almond flour.
Nut flours tend to go rancid pretty quickly – all that exposed surface area. So after a couple of attempts at macarons (I lied – so NOT as easy as you would think, those things are fussy!), I figured it was time to track down some other recipes that use almond flour or ground almonds.
I found this recipe in Gregg R. Gillespie’s 1001 Cookie Recipes where there are 57 recipes with “almond” in the title. These are “Almond Cakes III”; not to be confused with Almond Cakes II or VI, or almond cookies, almond crisps or almond crescents, all of which offer multiple recipes with their own Roman numerals.
What I liked about these was the lack of fat. Sure there’s fat in the almonds, but it’s healthy fat and there’s less guilt. These are made without butter or margarine, and if almonds are the nutritional powerhouse the California almond growers say they are, these things are downright healthy. And while these are similar to macarons in flavour, they’re a denser cookie because of the egg yolk and the flour, which makes them a more satisfying treat.
Gillespie recommends topping these with a cherry, but I had a stash of homemade candied almond on hand (again with the almonds), so I used those instead.
2 large eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup ground almonds
1 cup all-purpose flour
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Lightly grease 2 baking sheets.
In a large bowl, beat the eggs until thick and light-coloured. Beat in the sugar and vanilla extract. Beat in the almonds and gradually blend in the flour.
Break off 1-inch pieces of dough and roll into balls. Place balls 2 inches apart on the baking sheets. Flatten balls slightly and top with a cherry or candied almond. Bake for 8 – 10 minutes or until a light golden colour.
- Because the dough has no added fat, it will stick to your hands – rub a bit of non-stick spray on your palms if it gets too messy.
- Cookies will not rise or expand a great deal because there is no leavening agent, so flattening the balls helps them to cook through better. Leave them as balls if you want a more marzipan-type texture in the centre.