Just in time for the end of Chanukah, I’m posting another holiday cookie recipe, and this is one is special.
Growing up in Switzerland, I had these cookies every winter, when they were baked and given out as gifts during Chanukah. I remember being enamored with the taste and texture; they’re chewy, fragrant and spicy, with a meringue icing that crunches and then dissolves in your mouth.
With that taste still lingering in my memory, I set out to find a recipe that would be like the one I remembered, and was thrilled to find this one. While these do take time to make, the results are well worth it, and I was pleasantly surprised to find that they tasted almost better than I remembered.
- 2 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar, plus more for rolling
- 3 cups almond flour
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 3 large egg whites, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
- Put 1/2 cup of the sifted confectioners’ sugar, the almond flour and all the cinnamon in a food processor. Process until well combined.
- Whip the egg whites in a large, clean bowl with a mixer on high speed until they hold soft peaks, about 1 minute. Gradually add the remaining confectioners’ sugar while whipping, until the whites are thick, creamy and somewhat stiff, about 2 minutes more.
- Set aside 2/3 cup of this meringue for topping the cookies.
- Fold the ground almond mixture and the lemon zest into the remaining meringue to make a stiff dough.
- Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Lay a sheet of parchment or waxed paper on the work surface and lightly dust with confectioners’ sugar. Turn the dough out onto the dusted paper, flatten and dust with more sugar as needed, and then lay another sheet of parchment or waxed paper on top.
- Roll the dough between the papers until it is about 1/4-inch thick. Flip the dough over and gently peel off a sheet of the paper.
- Cut cookies with a 3-inch star cutter and place about 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Excess dough can be rerolled.
- Use an offset spatula to spread the reserved meringue over the top of each cookie, taking care not to let the meringue drip over the sides.
- Bake cookies until bottoms are light golden brown and meringue is set and crisp, about 28-30 minutes.
- Turn off the oven and open the oven door to release heat and dry cookies out in the oven for 10 more minutes.