Every single Christmas for my entire life, my grandma has made almond paste cookies. Last year I was unable to get back to upstate New York for Christmas, so she sent me some in the mail! I still have one in my freezer that I can't bring myself to eat... I think. It's totally possible that Jess devoured it long ago in one of her cookie crazes. Grandma is a staunch republican, and her hero won the election last night, so in her honor, I am posting this recipe, even if the world is about to fall into complete chaos and misery...
Anyway, these cookies are interesting because they are really sweet, but their sweetness is somehow tempered by their chewiness, which doesn't even seem possible. They are lent a light toasted aroma from the roasted almonds all around their exteriors, which also provide a satisfying crunch to the bite. Layered with almond flavor, they are a Sicilian classic that I will continue to perfect in the Christmases to come.
By the way, it's November now. It is perfectly acceptable for me to start posting Christmas recipes.
Butter Count: 0 Tbsp
2 cups almond paste
1 3/4 cups sugar
4 egg whites, beaten stiff
Slivered almonds for rolling
Powdered sugar for sifting (optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
2. Shred the almond paste with a grater. Add the sugar and combine thoroughly. Fold the mixture into the stiffly beaten egg whites, about 4 Tbsp at a time. When all ingredients are incorporated, the mixture should be wet and sticky, but moldable.
3. Shape the dough into 1-inch balls and roll them in the slivered almonds. Place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake in batches about 18 minutes until the cookies are golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely. The cookies will solidify the longer they cool, so do not remove them to a wire rack for at least 30 minutes. Some people sift powdered sugar over the cookies before they serve them, but I think they are sweet enough without that.