Friday, September 13, 2013

Almond-Citrus Cookies (Gluten Free)


(Slightly modified from "Almond and Orange Florentines," found in Ottolenghi, The Cookbook, Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi, 2013)

Ottolenghi and Tamimi call this cookie a Florentine; they are lacy and thin like traditional Florentines, but are flour-free, making them a fabulous gluten free cookie that can also be made for Passover. I'm planning to serve them with a dairy-free frozen dessert.

The cookie is VERY easy to make. The only change I made from the original recipe was to change the citrus flavoring a bit.  The original recipe calls for orange zest, I used a combination of zest and extract.

Choreography: the entire process takes about an hour or so

  • Measure and mix the ingredients by hand in a large bowl
  • Spray a parchment paper lined baking pan (yes, spray it even though it's lined)
  • Drop about a large tablespoon of mixture on the sheet, flatten to spread the mixture around
  • Bake until browned a bit on the bottom (this is a must, you won't be able to move an under-baked cookie)
  • Move to a cooling rack; after they are cooled, store in a covered container in the fridge
Equipment:
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Wooden spoon or other large cooking spoon
  • Baking sheet
  • Parchment Paper 
Ingredients: 
  • Spray oil
  • 2 egg whites (I used extra large eggs, but I do not think this will matter) 
  • 3/4 c confectioners sugar 
  • 1 Tsp orange zest (fresh is better, prepared will work) 
  • 1 tsp lemon extract 
  • 2 3/4 c sliced almonds
Procedure: 
1. Line the baking pan with parchment paper and lightly spray the paper, preheat your oven to 325 degrees  
2. Mix the egg whites, sugar, zest and extract 
3. Add the almonds, making sure the mixture coats the almonds (the egg white will bind the nut slices when you bake them) 
4. Drop the cookies by the heaping spoonful onto the pan, flatten them to form a very thin sheet of nut mixture. They will not spread further.  I found that baking too many cookies at once slowed the baking process, so my recommendation is that you bake no more than 8-10 cookies at once
5. Bake the cookies for 12-14 minutes.  For the first batch, check after 10 minutes to see how they are doing. They aren't rising, so don't worry about changes in oven temperature. The cookies must be browned a bit at the bottom or the egg whites will not set enough to create a crisp cookie 
6. SLIDE the cookies onto a cooling rack, if you have browned them and sprayed the parchment they will move easily.  Allow to fully cool before storage
7. The cookie stores well for several days in a closed container in the refrigerator.