These are my father’s favourite cookies. Like a lot of Italians, he is a big fan of anything almond flavoured. This is my take on a recipe I cut out of an Italian magazine many years ago. That recipe consisted of a list of ingredients and very few instructions. In my experience, most of the Italian mammas, zias and nonnas I know do not write any recipes down — everything is done from memory and instinct. I had several disastrous batches before I got these just right. The original recipe called for all-purpose flour, but I like to use a combination of all-purpose and almond flour. The almond flour adds moisture and tenderness. The end result is a cookie that is still quite crunchy – with a chewy centre – and a pretty pronounced almond flavour.
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 4 tbsp almond extract
- 3 eggs
- 3 tsp baking powder
- 2 1/2 cups almond flour*
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- slivered almonds, for garnish
- Preheat oven to 350F and grease baking sheets with non stick spray.
- In a bowl, stir together the flour, almond flour and baking powder. Set aside.
- Using an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together the sugars and oil.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, until fully incorporated. Next, add the almond extract.
- Turn the mixer to low and slowly add in the dry ingredients. Mix until fully combined. This is a relatively soft cookie dough.
- Form the dough into balls and roll balls into the powdered sugar. If you find you are having trouble handling the dough because it is too soft, you can refrigerate the dough for 15-20 minutes for easier handling. Place cookies two inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Press a few slivered almonds into the centre of each cookie.
- Bake for 15-17 minutes. Cool cookies on a wire rack. Store completely cooled cookies in an airtight container for up to one week These almond cookies freeze extremely well. They can be kept in an airtight container in the freezer for up to three months.
*Yield: Approximately 36 cookies
*To make your own almond flour: simply put your nuts into a food processor and process until the nuts turn into a fine powder. Be careful not to over-grind your nuts or you’ll end up with almond butter!