almond cloud cookies
A couple nights ago I dreamt one of my daughters was telling me, “Mom you’ve got to give better eye contact! You’ve got to get your head out of the trees!” I figure, any day you wake up laughing is bound to be a good day! And it was.
We’re heading to a birthday party tomorrow night and I’ll be bringing a basket of cookies. (Are you having trouble shaking the image of Little Red Riding Hood too? Ok, maybe it’s the basket. Better a platter.) Anyway, when I woke from that dream I knew just the cookie to start my baking day with. Here’s a cookie after my own heart,
a cookie with it’s head in the clouds!
And you won’t believe this – but you must because I promised a long time ago not to fib to you – it has no flour! It has no butter! It has no egg yolks! Well how can that possibly be a cookie then? More importantly, why would I possibly want to eat it for dessert? Because it has almond paste! Lots of almond paste. And yes, it does have sugar. And just a couple other things, that when all is said and done, and that puff of a cloud meets your mouth, it melts your heart. (And not that you care about such things, and no, neither do I, but it’s absurdly easy to make!)
Almond Cloud Cookies
(about 20 cookies)
- 10 ounces almond paste (I found mine in a – so convenient – 10 ounce can at Sur la Table) (See NOTE)
- 1 cup sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs whites, beaten lightly
- ¼ teaspoon pure almond extract
- ¼ teaspoon orange extract (you could substitute lemon extract)
- Confectioners’ sugar for dusting
NOTE: you can also find almond paste in the baking section of your market, but in smaller containers.
Preheat oven to 325°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a stand mixer, blend the almond paste, sugar and salt until uniformly crumbly. With mixer on medium speed, gradually add the beaten egg whites and continue mixing until you have a smooth paste. Beat in the almond and orange extracts.
Using a tablespoon, mound it full of dough and drop onto the prepared pans, about an inch-and-a-half space between them. Roughly round is just fine.
Using a fine sieve, dust the cookies liberally with confectioners’ sugar and then, with three fingers, press into each cookie to make a depression in the center.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Cookies will be lightly browned around the edges. Remove from the oven and allow to cool right on the pan – (or, if you need your pan right away as I did, carefully lift them from the parchment paper and allow to cool on a rack.)
Because I made 4 types of cookies, I thought I might as well snap their pictures as they came out of the oven, looking their Sunday best. Expect to see more of them in the coming days.