Italian almond cookies!

Tonight I’m invited to a little engagement party for one of my best friends. We all had to bring something to eat, I took care of the dessert.

I missed Italy a bit so I was inspired by one of their recipe to create their sweet treats, which I hope will delight my friends as well as your taste buds.

Ingredients:

  • 180 g almond meal or blanched ground almonds
  • 110 g caster / superfine sugar
  • 2 tsp lemon zest (1 lemon)
  • 3 drops natural almond extract (or vanilla extract for me)
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 60 g dried cherries , chopped (or chocolate chips)
  • 2 egg whites , at room temperature (from 2 large eggs)
  • 2 tsp honey

Almond coating:

  • 1 Extra egg white
  • 150 g flaked almonds

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 190°C/375°F (170°C fan). Line 2 trays with baking/parchment paper.
  • Combine Dry Ingredients: Place the almond meal, sugar, zest, almond extract and salt in a bowl. Whisk together until zest and almond extract is evenly distributed. Add the cherries and set aside
  • Beat eggs whites: Using an electric mixer or a whisk, beat the egg whites and honey to soft peaks (Note 5). About 2 minutes on Speed 8 of a handheld beater, or 1 1/2 minutes on Speed 6 of a stand mixer.
  • Fold the beaten egg whites gently into the almond mixture. You will seemingly knock most of the air out of the meringue, that’s ok! (You actually haven’t 🙂 ).

Forming and coating cookies:

  • Place Extra egg white in a small bowl and whisk with a fork until foamy. Place flaked almonds in another bowl.
  • Form 2.5cm/1″ balls: Scoop up about 1 tablespoon of the mixture and shape into a rough ball (2.5cm/1″ ball). I do this using 2 eating spoons – we don’t need perfect balls here.
  • Coat in egg whites: Drop the ball into foamy egg whites. Use 2 forks to turn to coat, then pick up and place in the flaked almonds.
  • Almond coating: Coat cookies with the almonds, pressing them on to cover as completely as you can. Don’t worry if you get some double layers or pieces sticking out – no need to be neat or thorough here!
  • Bake 13 minutes: Place on prepared tray 2.5cm / 1″ apart. Bake for 13-15 minutes until golden brown. Start checking at 12 minutes to be sure the nuts aren’t burning
  • Cool: Transfer to rack to cool completely before serving.
  • Store: Store in an airtight container. They last up to 10 days in a storage container or can be frozen

To serve them, I provided vanilla ice cream

I hope you’ll like it guys!

PRALINE HAZELNUT CREAM

Saturday afternoon at the Deaf Club, there was a meal organized by the association. Personally, with the help of my little brother, we made the desserts. Since there were so many things to eat, I wanted to make something light, so our choice fell on verrines.


Ingrédient for 10 verrines :

For the praline :

• 140g of powdered sugar
• 1 tablespoon of water
• 300g of shelled hazelnuts
• 150g hulled almonds

For the hazelnut cream :

• 1 egg yolk
• 20g of cornstarch
• 50cl of skimmed milk
• 200g of butter
• 100g of organic hazelnut paste
• 300g of praline

For the choux pastry :

• 75g of milk
• 75g of water
• 1 teaspoon caster sugar
• 1 pinch of salt
• 50g of butter
• 75g of flour
• 2 whole eggs + 1 yolk

Preparation :

Prepare the praline : Heat the sugar with the water in a saucepan over medium heat until a very brown caramel is obtained (be careful not to burn). Stir in the hazelnuts and almonds. Pour the praline over a sheet of silicone or parchment paper, then allow to cool. Then mix in a robot with a cutter blade. When the praline is in powder, take 1 tablespoon for decoration, then continue to mix until the mixture is creamy.

Prepare the hazelnut cream : Mix the egg yolk and starch in a bowl. Bring the milk to a boil, then pour it over the beaten egg. Mix and return to the pan. Cook for 5 minutes over very low heat, until the cream thickens. Stir in butter, hazelnut paste and praline. Mix and let stand overnight in the fridge.

Prepare the choux pastry : Combine the milk, water, sugar, salt and diced butter in a saucepan. Heat over high heat. Remove the pan from the heat at the first boil. Add the flour all at once and mix with a spatula until you have a ball of dough. Return the pan to low heat and stir vigorously for 1 minute to dry the excess water. Remove from the heat and incorporate the eggs one by one. The dough should be elastic.
Preheat the oven at 220 ° C. Transfer the dough to a pastry bag. Place the cabbage on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Mix the egg yolk with 1/2 teaspoon of water. Brush the egg yolks with a brush and sprinkle them with sugar. Bake for 10 minutes of cooking, then lower the oven to 180 ° C and continue cooking for 5 minutes.

For the dressing :

Place creamy praline in the bottom of each jar 1cm high. Emulsify the hazelnut cream with a whisk, then put it in a fluted piping bag and garnish the jars up to 2/3 of their height. Add cabbage and sprinkle with praline powder before serving.