Sicilian Almond Cookies
Each cuisine has popular cookies that are perfect not only for a snack but also for dessert. In the Sicilian culinary tradition, particularly their pastry, almond cookies, which are prepared using the almond paste is considered a ‘must’.
They are super simple to make, but they look really pretty and delicious. Match them with a cup of tea or coffee, and you are in for a treat. Or, if you want to keep it all Sicilian, you can also accompany them with a glass of the typical Sicilian sweet wine called Marsala.
Sicily is known for its citrus fruits as well as its almonds and pistachio nuts. That is why they usually use these items when making different types of desserts. Almond cookies can be made for any occasion, be it for the holidays, huge gatherings, or just small family celebrations. They are an excellent everyday snack, too.
According to historians, the dough of the Sicilian Almond Cookies dates back to 1100. Yes, it is ancient! It is believed that the nuns back then were the ones who first created almond paste products. This dough is really good. So much so that it has become the base of a variety of Sicilian treats.
These Sicilian Almond Cookies are a huge hit not only during the Christmas season but all year round. They are soooo good, thanks to the almond butter. They are topped with cherries as well, making them look really pretty!
2 cups + 2 tablespoons almond flour
1 cup + 10 tablespoons powdered sugar
3 large egg whites
3 drops pure vanilla extract
10 cherries (Maraschino or Amarena)
- To prepare the almond paste, sift the powdered sugar and mix it with the almond flour in a large bowl. Add the grated zest of the orange and lemon. Add the vanilla extract, too, as well as the lightly beaten egg whites.
- Once the dough is compact, pour it into a pastry bag with a large decorating tip. Place the bag in the fridge for about 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, line a drip pan with parchment paper. Take the pastry bag with the dough in it from the fridge and start forming cookies about 2 inches wide on the parchment paper.
- Add half of a cherry to each cookie.
- Put the drip pan in the fridge and let the raw cookies rest for 8 hours.
- Once the cookies have rested for 8 hours in the fridge, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Bake the cookies directly from the fridge for about 10 to 15 minutes. Make sure to turn the drip pan halfway through cooking until the cookies are golden brown.
- After a few minutes, operate the broil to make the cookies crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.
- It is very important that you rest the drip pan with the raw cookies in it for at least 8 hours in the fridge. This helps prevent the cookies from sagging while cooking them.
Since this dessert recipe requires at least an 8-hour resting time in the fridge, it is highly recommended that you make them the day before.