Italian Nut Cookies
Silverton's Pastries from the La Brea Bakery
2-1/2 cups (10 ounces) whole, unblanched almonds
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup citrus marmalade (orange, lemon or grapefruit)
2 tablespoons pure almond extract
2 extra-large egg whites
Powdered sugar for dusting, optional (see note)
the oven rack to the middle position and preheat the
oven to 325°F.
out 36 almonds and, using a paring knife, slice the
almonds in half lengthwise, severing each from the
pointed tip to the rounded bottom. If there are any
broken pieces or crumbs, set them aside. Place the
almond halves split-side up on a baking sheet and
toast in the oven for about 8 to 10 minutes, until
a food processor fitted with the steel blade, grind
the remaining nuts and any broken pieces of nuts with
half of the sugar and baking powder until it's the
consistency of a fine meal. Add the remaining sugar,
marmalade, almond extract and egg whites; pulse on
and off until just combined. Chill until firm, about
the oven up to 350°F.
up a walnut-size portion of dough and squeeze it in
the palm of your hand to eliminate cracks and air
pockets. Roll it between your palms to form a 1/2-inch
ball and continue with the remaining dough. Place
the balls at least 1 inch apart on 2 parchment-lined
baking sheets. Place 2 almond halves, skin side up,
in the center of each cookie, overlapping the wider
ends to make a "V" shape. Press down to
ensure that they stick.
for about 15 to 20 minutes, until firm, rotating the
baking sheets halfway through to ensure even baking.
to cool. Cover the almonds with a round bottle cap
and dust the cookie with powdered sugar, if desired
To decorate with powdered sugar, you'll need a bottle
cap or small lid that fits over the almond halves
so just the cookie gets sugared, not the almonds.
(Updated: 10/22/08 SN)