Orange Almond Crisps are hands down my favorite cookie (except for Coconut Meringues). Fancy people call this type of cookie a “Florentine” after Florence, Italy where they were first made – and thanks to them for that. To me they’re crispy so I call them crisps. (And yes I know that the featured picture above looks like a giant pile of toasted almonds but take my word for it, it’s about four cookies.) Florentines are the minimalist apotheosis of the flavored toasted nut as opposed to the gooey sugar bomb that is a praline.
If you’re making anything requiring a lot of egg yolks make this after you’re done and the crisps will be what we call “lagniappe,” which is Cajun French for “something extra.” Plus they freeze. Plus they rock with vanilla ice cream. Plus they are great with coffee. Plus they crumble beautifully making it possible to eat them with fingers you’ve licked for just that purpose. Eaten this way they’re trail mix for hipsters and socialites, maybe even socialists!
The egg whites and sugar are basically only glue to keep the almonds together and distribute the flavor of the orange rind and almond extract. When everything is mixed together it should look like the picture below, that is to say, mostly almonds.
- Vegetable oil for brushing
- 2 egg whites
- grated zest of one orange
- ½ tsp. almond extract
- ⅔ cup powdered sugar
- 2¾ cup sliced almonds
- Preheat oven to 300.
- Whisk sugar into egg whites until well combined.
- Grate orange into mixture and stir. Add almond extract.
- Stir in almonds.
- Brush vegetable oil on a cookie sheet.
- Drop tablespoons of the mixture onto the cookie sheet.
- Flatten just a little with the back of an oiled spoon so the cookies will toast evenly.
- Cook until lightly brown, about 15 to 20 minutes.
You may also add a half teaspoon of orange flower water if you have it. It's a more delicate and nuanced form of orange than the rind.