These cookies are very popular in Italian and Greek bakeries. Made with pure almond paste, they pack so much flavor and texture (think chewy and crunchy at the same time) in a little package. Here is the recipe! I formed them with a small ice cream scoop but you could use a pastry bag with a star tip–if you want to get fancy on me! Note that the regular versions of this cookie, and there are dozens, do not contain the cayenne. But given that I love sweet and salty or sweet and hot, I thought it the perfect addition.
16 ounces almond paste (2- 8 ounce cans)
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 large egg whites, lightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Healthy pinch of cayenne pepper (optional but that little bit of heat in all that sweet is nice)
Preheat oven to 325F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment. Pulse the almond paste and sugar in the food processor until combined. Pour mixture into the mixer bowl of a stand mixer and add the three egg whites, mixing until combined. Add the vanilla and cayenne if using. Using a small ice cream scoop, scoop out the mixture into balls and place on the parchment lined sheet. You may if you like garnish them with sliced almonds as I did above. Sprinkle with powdered sugar through a sieve and bake for about 20 to 25 minutes, watching them closely at the end of the baking time. When they begin to brown around the edges they are done. Keep in mind that, while they are cooling on the pan, they will continue to stiffen up and bake because of the hot pan. You may keep them on the pan to cool completely and then remove them when they have come to room temperature. Makes about 20-23 cookies.