My friend Michael sent me the recipe and asked me to make these – how appropriate for New Year’s Day. The recipe comes together easily and quickly – just put all the dry ingredients in one bowl, and beat the wet ingredients in the other; add the two bowls, and voilá!
This recipe makes about 36 cookies – plenty to share with friends. The texture is light, the flavor is pleasantly subtle, and the almond on top is for good fortune in the year to come.
300g (2½ cups) all-purpose flour
35g (1/3 cup) almonds, ground
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
120g (½ cup, one stick) softened unsalted butter
120g (½ cup) shortening – I used vegan shortening.
200g (1 cup) sugar
1 large or jumbo egg, whole
2 tablespoons water – I used Amaretto liqueur instead
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 large or jumbo egg, beaten for egg wash
3 dozen whole almonds (one for each cookie)
1. Preheat your oven to 325°F/165°C. Cover a cookie sheet with parchment paper; actually you’ll probably need two cookie sheets. I used a cookie sheet and a silicon muffin tray.
2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, ground almonds, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
3. With an electric mixer, cream the butter, shortening and sugar. Add the egg, water and almond extract; blend well.
4. Slowly beat in the flour mixture. The dough will become very thick.
5. Put on surgical gloves and roll into into one-inch-diameter balls. Place 1-2” apart on a baking sheet.
6. Place an almond in the center of each cookie and press down lightly with your hand.
7. Brush each cookie lightly with the beaten egg.
8. Bake until golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes, depending on your oven.
If any are left after a day or two, they can be stored at room temperature in an airtight tin, or in ZipLok bags. Even if they get a little stale, these almond delights are great dipped in a cup of weak tea!