Peanut Butter and Purple Onions

Sounds crazy until you try it.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

In Which We Are Reminded That I Am Slow to Learn

Devorit: Well hello there.
BNA: ...Hey-lo.
D: Uh-oh.
B: What?
D: You've quite obviously done something you shouldn't have.
B: Look, the older sister spider-sense-of-troublemaking doesn't work over transcontinental phone lines.
D: Oh yeah? Then how do I know that you've been baking in humidity again?
B: ...Lucky guess.
D: Uh-huh. A little stubborn, are we?
B: I had the almond flour. It was calling my name.
D: I know that you're not going to tell me that you tried to make macaroons when you're in rain-forest conditions.
B: Maybe that spider sense doesn't work so well after all.
D: Oh BNA.
B: What? Ok, so I had to double the amount of almond flour. So what?
D: ...Verdict?
B: Excellent.
D: Carry on.

Adapted from Nigella Lawson's How to Be a Domestic Goddess

Makes about 30 cookies.

2 large egg whites
pinch of salt
3/4 c. sugar
zest of one lemon
1/2 tsp. top-quality vanilla extract
1 tsp. top-quality almond extract
1 1/3 c. ground almonds (sometimes labeled as almond flour)
confectioner's sugar for dusting (optional)

Whisk the egg whites and salt until they're stiff and dry. Gradually whisk in the sugar until you have a marshmallow kind of consistency, then add the zest and extracts. Mix in the ground almonds. Nigella says this will be "quite a hard paste."

Shape into small diamonds (if you can). Lay on parchment-paper-covered baking sheets and leave to dry out at least 15 hours.

Heat the oven to 250 and bake about 30 minutes, until pale and slightly cracked. Cool completely. Dust with powdered sugar if you like.

Freezes well.

* To get anywhere near a "hard paste," I had to add an extra cup of almond flour. They still tasted awesome, though.
* I skipped the powdered sugar because I forgot. Oh well.
* I found it extremely difficult to shape the dough into diamond or lozenge shapes. The dough just would not hold a form (see below). Eventually I gave up and, again, they tasted awesome.


  • At 6:58 PM, Blogger Gadget said…

    yummy! tempting...or at least it would be tempting to try if I haven't been dealing with 95-degree weather virtually non-stop for entirely too long...

  • At 8:45 PM, Anonymous Ellie said…

    Ooo! I've looked at that same recipe but been been hesitant to try...but perhaps it's worth a shot if they're yummy enough for you to try in the weather you've got goin' on!

    Loved the transcript of the phonecall, hehehe ;)

  • At 10:01 PM, Blogger Claire said…

    This looks interesting. Letting it sit out for 15 hours seems like it would be hard. No patience here! The recipe makes me think of biscotti, kind of.

  • At 2:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    LOL! I've been baking in the heat, too. Yeah, crazy, but it's worth it. I'm tempted to try baking the recent pie that Cream Puffs in Venice made and your Ricciarelli. Looks good!


  • At 11:33 AM, Blogger BNA said…

    Hi Gadget -- at least the oven is on quite low for these, so your kitchen won't heat up so much.

    Ellie! Give it a shot -- they taste amazing, despite the craggy appearance.

    Oh Claire, I know, I didn't think I could last that long either without nibbling.

    Hey Paz! Let me know if you try these.


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