Sunday, July 14, 2024


 This week three non secular holidays converge—the Christian Semana Santa and Pascua de Resurrección (Holy Week and Easter), the Jewish Passover or Pesach (Pascua Judía) and the Muslim Ramadan. 

As soon as upon a time, earlier than the Reconquest and the Expulsion (1492), Spain was a land of convivencia, the place Christians, Muslims (referred to as the “Moors”) and Sephardic Jews inhabited the identical cities and villages. 

Right here’s a cookie of convivencia, one which may have been ready by all three of these communities. Almendrados are a candy deal with for Easter dinner, for the Passover desk when no wheat flour or leavening is permitted, or for iftar, the meal that ends the Ramadan fasting at sunset. 

Almond cookies are a candy deal with for spring vacation meals.

Pair almendrados with seasonal fruit similar to strawberries and nísperos, loquats.
Almendrados with fruit cup of sliced berries and loquats. Whipped cream is elective.

The cookies are nutty and chewy.

The recipe comes from Repostería Monacal de las Hermanas Clarisas (Ardatz y S.P.A.M., San Sebastian; 1999), a group of dessert and pastry recipes from Clarisa convents throughout Spain. This recipe was contributed by the nuns of the Monasterio de la Ascension de Nuestro Señor in Lerma (Burgos). It differs from different almendrado recipes (together with these in Sephardic cookbooks) in that the eggs are separated and the whites overwhelmed stiff, producing a cookie with a lighter texture. 

I decreased the proportion of sugar known as for within the authentic recipe (1 kilo almonds and 1 kilo sugar). You possibly can lower the amount much more. In truth, subsequent time I make almendrados, I’m going to strive them sugar-free. 

Grind almonds to flour.

Use store-bought unsweetened floor almond flour, if you may get it. In any other case, use a meals processor to grind blanched and skinned almonds to flour. Should you’re beginning with pure almonds, they must be blanched in boiling water and skinned earlier than toasting and grinding them. 

I used three massive eggs for this recipe and located that, as a result of the almond dough was pretty smooth, the cookies flattened out significantly in baking. That’s why I’m suggesting within the recipe that you simply use medium-sized eggs. 

Line the cookie sheets with baking parchment. The cookies whereas nonetheless sizzling from the oven are prone to break in the event you attempt to take away them from the sheet. Slide the sheet of parchment with the cookies onto cooling racks. Enable the cookies to chill earlier than lifting them off the parchment.  

The cookies are good served with espresso or tea. They pair properly with spring fruit desserts. Relying in your non secular proclivities: add liqueur or fruit juice to the fruit. End with a dollop of whipped cream or maintain it dairy-free. 

Almond Cookies


Makes about 40 cookies.

16 ounces blanched almonds or unsweetened almond flour 

1 ½ cups sugar

½ teaspoon cinnamon

1 ½ teaspoons grated lemon zest

1/8 teaspoon salt

3 medium eggs, separated

40 almonds to embellish the cookies

Preheat oven to 400ºF.

Unfold the almonds (or almond flour) in a rimmed sheet pan. Place within the oven, stirring as soon as, till they’re very flippantly golden, 8-10 minutes. Watch rigorously in order that the almonds don’t burn. (Almond flour will toast even sooner.) (If toasting the almonds prematurely of creating the cookies, flip the oven off. If persevering with with the cookies, scale back warmth to 350ºF.)

Enable the almonds to chill, then grind them in a meals processor as coarse or fantastic as you want. Place the bottom almonds in a mixing bowl. Mix the sugar in a small bowl with the cinnamon, zest and salt. Rub the sugar between the fingers to completely combine the zest with the sugar. Add to the bowl with the bottom almonds. 

Beat the egg whites till stiff. Stir the yolks to mix, then fold them into the whites. Add the eggs in two components to the almonds and sugar. Fold the eggs in as flippantly as doable. 

Set oven temperature to 350ºF. Line cookie sheets with baking parchment. 

Able to bake.

Utilizing fingers or two spoons, take up a bit of the almond combination and form right into a ball concerning the dimension of a walnut. If dough appears sticky, dip arms or spoons in chilly water. Place the balls on the cookie sheets, spacing them 2 inches aside, as they may unfold in baking. Press an almond into the middle of every ball.

Slide the sheet of parchment with cookies onto cooling rack.

Bake the cookies till they’re flippantly golden, 15 to 18 minutes. Take away the sheets from the oven and slide the entire sheet of parchment onto a cooling rack. Don’t attempt to take away the cookies from the parchment till they’re fully cool. 

The cookies maintain nicely, saved in an air-tight container. 

Extra almond cookies: 

Extra about loquats right here.

Wishing you a candy and blessed vacation/springtime. 



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