It wasn't until I had made my fifth batch in as many days (they kept disappearing before I could take their picture) that I realized these cookies are the perfect dessert for gluten-free guests. If it weren't for the tiny splash of egg white that holds them together, they'd also be vegan. They just may be my favorite cookie of all time, gluten-free or gluten-ful. And that says a lot from a chocoholic like me.
Moroccan Almond Cookies
There are two brands of almond paste available locally, and both work well. The Solo almond paste comes in an 8 ounce can; the Odense almond paste comes in a 7 ounce tube.
- 1 egg white (use only 1 tablespoon at sea level)
- 1/2 tsp. almond extract
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 7 ounces almond paste (use 8 ounces at sea level)
- 3/4 cup skin-on whole almonds (unsalted)
- 3 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 3/4 tsp. baking powder (use 1 tsp. at sea level)
- Pinch of Kosher salt
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar (for coating the balls of dough)
- Preheat your oven to 350ºF (325ºF at sea level). Place the oven rack in the middle of the oven.
- Line a baking sheet with a Silpat mat, or with parchment paper sprayed with cooking oil.
- Combine egg white, almond and vanilla extracts in a small cup. Set aside.
- Place almond paste, almonds, sugar, baking powder, and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Process for 1 minute, or until the nuts are finely ground. With the food processor running, pour the egg white mixture through the top, and process just until the dough comes together in a ball.
- Scoop up just less than 1 tablespoon of dough for each cookie, and roll it into a nice ball. Place on the cookie sheet at least 1 inch apart. (The cookie dough may be refrigerated like this for up to 1 week, or frozen for up to 1 month.)
- Roll each ball of dough in the powdered sugar, and place it back on the baking sheet. (I squeeze all the cookies onto one rack because I hate doing dishes, but Lahlou recommends using 2 racks.)
- Bake for 13 minutes, or until they start to slightly crack and take on some color. (At sea level, they will usually be done after 12 minutes.)
- Cool on racks and eat the same day.