- Yield: 90 pieces
- 1 2/3cup (8 ounces) blanched whole almonds
- 2cups (8 ounces) powdered sugar
- 1/8teaspoon salt
- 1/2cup egg whites (from about 4 large eggs), at room temperature
- 1/4teaspoon cream of tartar
- 2teaspoons pure almond extract
- 1/2cup (3.5 ounces) granulated sugar
- Position the racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat the oven to 300°F.
- Line the cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- Combine the almonds, powdered sugar, and salt in the food processor and pulse until the nuts are finely ground, scraping the sides as necessary.
- Using the electric mixer, beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar in a large clean, dry bowl at medium speed until the egg whites are creamy white and soft peaks are formed when the beaters are lifted. Add the almond extract, then gradually add the granulated sugar, beating until the whites are fluffy and very stiff. Pour the almond mixture over the meringue and fold in with a large rubber spatula just until fully incorporated.
- Scoop tablespoons of batter 1 inch apart onto the lined cookie sheets. (While the first two sheets are baking, scoop the remaining batter onto a third lined sheet or onto a parchment liner to be baked when the first batch is done.)
- Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the cookies are golden; rotate the sheets from top to bottom and from front to back halfway through the baking time to ensure even baking. Set the pans on racks to cool completely, or slide the parchment liners from the pans onto racks. The cookies keep in an airtight container for weeks.
Excerpted from Sinfully Easy Delicious Desserts by Alice Medrich (Artisan Books). Copyright 2012.