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Caak aux Amandes

Almond-Filled Ring Cookies

These Tunisian ring-shaped cookies can also be made with pistachios.

Makes two dozen cookies

½ lb blanched almonds

7  1/4 ounces (1 2/3 cup) confectioner’s sugar

2 drops pure almond extract

2 ½ tablespoons rosewater

1 pound (3 2/3 cups) flour

7  1/4 ounces (14 ½ tablespoons) salted butter

1. In a food processor grind the almonds fine then add sugar and grind as finely as possible.  Gradually add in the rosewater. Knead briefly to obtain a marzipan-like dough.  Keep covered.

2. Place the flour in the food processor.  Add the butter and process until finely chopped up.  Add enough hot water to make a dryish dough (6-7 tablespoons).  Let rest 1 hour before using.  Cut this dough into 4 pieces and form each into a ball.

3. Preheat oven to 350°F.

4. Dip each dough ball quickly in boiling water. Roll out on a smooth surface dusted well with flour into a rectangle a little bigger than 12 by 9 inches.  The dough needs to be about 1/8-inch thick. Cut to obtain 6 sheets each 6 x 3 inches.

5. Divide the almond paste into 24 even pieces. Roll into balls then roll each of these into 6 inch cylinder about the diameter of a pencil.  Place each of these lengthwise on the dough rectangles.  Roll the dough around the almond paste then, using lightly dampened hands, carefully form into rings, sealing the ends. Smooth any cracks with hot water.

6. Arrange about an inch apart on a baking sheet lined with parchment, and bake in the preheated oven until very pale gold, about 30 minutes.  Cool.