HOW TO MAKE ITALIAN ALMOND COOKIES
Almond cookies are traditional to the Southern region of Sicily and they are often decorated beautifully and served on platters for special occasions.
This particular recipe is rich with history, dating back more than 80 years and was brought to Australia by Italian immigrant and renowned pastry-chef, Giorgio – now 94 years old. These almond biscuits are sold by Brunetti Classico in Melbourne and are one of their most popular delicacies.
Aside from their irresistible almond flavour, their unique quality is the delicate crunch on the outside and soft centre. Once you add a flaked almond or a small dollop of your favourite jam, you will find it hard to resist making these on repeat. Plus, they’re gluten free!
Vincenzo’s Plate Tips
MAKING THE ALMOND MEAL
You can enhance the flavor by making your own almond meal and combining it with sugar. This makes the process a little longer but is absolutely worth it.
BE CREATIVE – MAKE YOUR OWN VERSION OF THESE BISCOTTI
There are so many ways to decorate your Almond cookies. Don’t feel restricted by the ways you have seen the biscuits decorated in this video, create your own using flavours, nuts and jams you adore.
HOW TO MAKE IT STICK!
You simply make the paste, the one that help ensure the almond flakes stick to your cookies, by combining egg white and icing sugar. When making it, ensure that it is thick by adding extra icing sugar or it will absorb into the dough rather than sticking to the outside. Naturally the best way to combine the two ingredients and reach the right consistency is by using your hands!
For these Almond Cookies, each portion of dough used to make an individual biscuit weighs 30g. This means the cooking time is only 6 minutes. If you decide to make them larger, make sure you adjust the cooking time accordingly. It might take some trial and error but the key is: crunchy at first bite, then soft through the centre.
How To Serve Italian Almond Cookies
Serve alongside a cup of hot coffee or a tea. You can stack these on a cake tray, placing any with cherries or jam at the top, or simply line them up on an oval/round platter or even a chopping board.
Don’t forget to add the extra icing sugar before serving!
Italian Almond Cookies
- Large bowl
- Flat biscuit baking tray x 2
- 300 grams Almond Meal 10.5oz. or freshly ground almonds
- 360 grams Icing sugar 12.6oz
- 30 grams Honey 1oz
- 1 tsp Cinnamon
- 1 tsp Vanilla essence or scraped vanilla bean
- Lemon Zest
- Orange Zest
- 5 Egg Whites
- Sour cherries or candied fruits
- Almond Flakes
- Extra icing sugar for dusting
- Mix the almond meal, icing sugar and honey into a large bowl.
- Add the cinnamon and zest of both an orange and a lemon.
- Combine using your hands, gently in one direction, then start to slowly pour in a portion of the egg whites.
- Start with approximately 1/3, then mix, add a second portion of the egg whites, mix again then finally add the rest.
- Continue to combine using your hands, squeezing down using your fingers and all of the dry ingredients will start to form into a dough.
- Mix until it thickens and there are no dry ingredients left. This should then form into a dough ball.
- Break off a small piece of dough and roll it into a ball, it should form easily and not crumble at all, this is how you know it’s ready.
- Prepare a large flat baking tray lined with baking paper.
- Pulling off small portions of the dough, create small balls by rolling it between the palms of your hand. If you wish to be precise, they should weigh 30g each.
- There are several ways you can prepare the final biscotti, some options are:
- Dip the ball into a bowl of water and then roll it in icing sugar. Using your index finger, press down gently on top then once baked, top with jam and crushed nuts.
- Flatten the ball, place a sour cherry in the middle, wrap the dough back around it, roll it again.
- Dip the ball into a mixture of egg white and icing sugar then cover it with flaked almonds and pinch it. You can even use the one you stuffed with the cherry!
- Place all of your biscotti onto the baking tray, leaving the space of approx. 1 biscuit between each one.
- Bake at 230°C/446°F for 6 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool before dusting with icing sugar.
E ora si mangia, Vincenzo’s Plate…Enjoy!!!
I want to suggest you other 2 super easy and delicious Italian cookie recipes you can make in no-time!
- WINE COOKIES (Taralli al Vino) are quick to make, look great, and once they crumble in your mouth see if anyone can resist more!
- AMARETTI BISCUITS are the perfect accompaniment to espresso or cappuccino. But they’re also great as a snack or after-dinner treat. They’re delicious with ice cream and fresh fruit, too.
“Italy Unexplored Tour” and experience the Real Italy like you have never seen before.
The tour is exclusive to only 10 passionate foodies and it’s very unique. (Click here to get more details)
Tempted? Watch the video below and enjoy the sightseeing of the greenest region in Europe
Subscribe to my Youtube Channel: www.youtube.com/vincenzosplate