Christmas cookie recipes are one thing you can never, ever have enough of. You have your family staple (Spritz for my clan), you personal fave, the fancy newbie you found in a magazine this year…so let’s add another!
I’ve been obsessing over super-simple Italian almond cookies. You know the kind: Chewy, barely any ingredients, sweet but slightly salty. Honestly, there’s nothing better! I already planned on adding these almond cookies to my Christmas spread this year but then I realized there’s an EXTRA bonus that might be interesting to some of you—they’re gluten free, too!
Now here’s the thing, if you aren’t gluten-free these are just the chewiest more amazing cookies ever. If you ARE gluten-free, these are pure magic. None of that dusty weirdness. No funky taste. They’re just delicious.
The star ingredient: Almonds, duh! You can easily transform blanched slivered almonds into homemade almond meal. Don’t bother buying almond meal at a store, it’s insanely expensive. All you need is a coffee grinder or spice grinder to create a fine, soft flour-like powder. You’ll have to grind the almonds in batches but it’s worth it for getting that delicate texture. You could use a food processor but your meal will be a lot more coarse. The recipe will still work but I definitely prefer the texture of coffee-grinder-ground almonds.
photos by Erin Phraner
One last thing—toppings! For a rustic, homespun look you can top these cookies with move slivered almonds (or sliced almonds). Personally I prefer sprinkles, so I used those instead. They add color and happiness and awesomeness…need I explain? Happy holidays and happy baking! xo
- 2 cups blanched slivered almonds, plus more for topping (or you can use sprinkles!)
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 4 egg whites
- 2 teaspoons almond extract
- 2 tablespoons apricot jam
- PANTRY STAPLE: Sea salt
- Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicon baking mat.
- 2. In batches, pulse the almonds in a spice grinder or clean coffee grinder, until very finely ground. (You can use a food processor if needed, it just won’t make the almond meal as fine as a spice or coffee grinder and your cookies will be a bit more piece-y.)
- Transfer the almond meal to a large bowl. Whisk in the sugar until combined. In another small bowl, whisk 3 egg whites until frothy; add to the almond mixture along with the almond extract and jam. Stir together using a spatula until totally combined.
- Scoop spoonfuls of dough onto the prepared baking sheets about 2 inches apart. Bake until just golden around the edges, about 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, whisk the remaining 1 egg white in a small dish until frothy. Remove the baking sheets from the oven. One cookie at a time, lightly brush with a very thin layer of egg white and top with more nuts or sprinkles. Return to the oven for 1 to 2 more minutes.
- Let the cookies cool 2 minutes on the baking sheets, then use an offset spatula to transfer to wire racks to cool completely. The bottom of the cookies are sticky, so hold the spatula flat and slowly shimmy underneath to release.