In just a few days I’ll be able to walk into a pasticceria in Lucca and order my favoite little pastries. In the meantime I whipped up a batch of theses delectable cookies from Gina De Palma’s book Dolce Italiano to hold me over until I get there. I’ve made quite a few recipes from this book with great success, but I think that these may be my favorite since they instantly transport me back to Italy.
Be sure to check back and spend time with me in lovely Lucca. The adventure begins this Saturday. Maybe next time you should come along with me…
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup almond flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, separated
Freshly grated zest of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups blanched, sliced almonds
In a bowl whisk together the flour, almond flour, baking powder, and salt and set aside.
Using an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter and granulated sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the egg yolk, followed by the lemon zest and vanilla extract, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition. Beat in the dry ingredients on low speed to make a stiff dough. Remove the dough from the bowl, flatten into a disk, wrap in plastic and chill until it is firm, about 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment (or butter them). Place the almonds in a bowl. In another shallow bowl, lightly beat the egg white with a fork until frothy.
Divide the dough into three equal pieces. Work with 1 piece at a time, keeping the others wrapped and refrigerated. Roll the piece of dough into a narrow log 1/2″ in diameter. Cut the log into cylinders about 1-1/2 ” long. Roll each cylinder into egg white and then into sliced almonds to coat. Place on prepared sheets, spacing them about 1/2″ apart. Repeat with remaining dough.
Bake the cookies until they are firm and the almonds are lightly golden brown, 14-16 minutes, rotating the sheets 180 degrees halfway through the baking time. Allow the cookies to cool on sheets for 1-2 minutes, then use a spatula to remove them gently to a wire rack to cool completely. Dust the cookies generously with confectioners sugar. Yield: about 4 dozen