‘Almond blossom’ cookies belong to the collection of great European pastries (Lebkuchen and Tarta de Santiago are among my favourites, too) that are gluten free and utterly delicious. Based on almonds, they have Arab background, making them even more multi-cultural, which is a bonus in my world.
- 400 g ground almonds (freshly ground is best)
- 150 g honey
- 50 g sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- zest of one lemon
- ca. 2 egg whites
- icing sugar for decoration
- pre-heat the oven to 150°C
- mix the ground almond, sugar, honey, cinnamon and lemon zest
- add just enough egg white to make a firm paste – if you add too much it gets sticky and sloppy and difficult to work – you can always add a little more almond if that happens
- knead it with your hands until you get the texture of damp sand, the mixture will be held together by the oil that is released by the almonds while kneading
- use the volume of about a heaped tablespoon of mass to shape oblong cookies in the palm of your hands (about 5 cm long and 2 cm thick) and press a little thumb print into the middle
- bake them on a greased baking tray for about 20 min, taking care that they don’t get browned – they should be slightly soft in the centre
- dust them with icing sugar and serve (amaretto goes very well with them)
The inspiration for this recipe comes from Claudia Roden’s ‘The food of Italy’, 1989, Arrow Books, London.