These cookies always remind me of my Nonno. He passed away 10 years ago this month of cancer Not a day goes by that I don’t miss him and wish he could have met my kids. My Nonno loved these cookies, he would sneak some out of the tin when Natalie wasn’t looking. He had a huge sweet tooth. We always had these cookies at Christmas time and would have large family dinners. Since moving to Toronto, I have tried recreate all the treats Natalie would make so that my kids could have Italian treats like I did. I tried making these in Toronto but they never turned out the way I wanted them to. They were too thin and wouldn’t hold their shape once they were in the oven. Now that we are back on the west coast, I was finally able to ask Nonna Natalie via facetime where I went wrong and we had a virtual cooking session together. It turns out, I didn’t grind the almonds enough! Another tip, be mindful how long you bake your cookies for, you want them to be golden brown on top and slightly brown on the bottom. Once cooled, they should taste chewy with a light lemon flavour. They go perfectly with an afternoon espresso!
Yield: approximately 64 cookies
Preheat oven to 350F
- 900 g roasted whole almonds
- 400 g white sugar
- 2 large egg whites
- 2 large eggs
- 2 lemons zested
- 2 tbsp Kaluha or coffee liqueur
- 3 tsp lemon juice
- icing sugar
- Grind roasted almonds in a food processor until it’s very finely ground. ( see above photo)
- Combine roasted ground almonds, eggs, lemon zest, sugar and kaluha in a large bowl.
- Have a small bowl with cold water on hand to help you roll the cookies into balls. Apply some water to your palm and roll the cookies into small balls and place on a prepared baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Bake at 350 F for 10-12 minutes.
- Remove from oven and let cool on baking sheet.
- Once the cookies are cool, mix lemon juice and icing sugar, a little bit at a time to form a thick glaze. Dip cookies into the glaze and place back on the prepared baking sheet and let set.