9 Ladies Dancing: Almond Lace Cookies

These cookies are so beautiful and delicious. They have a crispy, light texture and big almond flavor. You just have to be OK with the fact that they will leave a thin film of butter on your fingers when you eat them. Just remember, butter is a good thing. Always. Even when it stains your shirt.

These cookies are from a great cookbook, BakeWise: The Hows and Whys of Successful Baking by Shirley O. Corriher. She is best known for her book CookWise: The Secrets of Cooking Revealed. If you want to know why your cookie is crispy instead of soft, or how the cookie crumbles in general, this is the book for you.

9 Ladies Dancing: Almond Lace Cookies
Adapted from BakeWise by Shirley O. Colliher

Nonstick cooking spray (if using parchment paper instead of release foil)
2/3 c slivered and blanched almonds (buy in the bulk section to get exactly what you need)
1/2 c sugar
6 T unsalted butter, melted
1 T all purpose flour
2 T whole milk

Position rack one third from the top of the oven and preheat it to 350. Cover a baking sheet with release foil OR parchment paper sprayed with cooking spray lightly. It's important to use one of the two.

In a food processor with steel blade, process the almonds and sugar until the almonds are finely ground. It's OK if a few larger pieces remain. Using the pulse action on the food processor, blend in the melted butter, then the flour and milk.

The cookies will spread, so drop heaping teaspoonfuls on the baking sheet. Only do four or five per sheet. Bake one sheet at a time, 6 to 7 minutes or until the edges begin to brown slightly. Pull out of the oven and let sit for one minute. Then pick up the parchment paper and place it upside down on the cooling rack (so cookies are face down on the cooling rack). Carefully peel the parchment paper off. Then flip the cookies so they are right side up.

Once the cookies have cooled, place them on paper towels so some of the butteriness can fall away.

A few notes:
  • The recipe said you can use a wide spatula to pick up the cookies. This didn't work for me, so I recommend the flipping action described above.
  • One neat thing about this recipe is that when the cookies are still hot from the oven, you can shape the cookies. Maybe you'd want to form it into a tiny basket to hold fruit or curl it over a rolling pin. Or just make sculpture!
  • The melted butter and lack of proteins (minimal flour) is what allows these cookies to spread so much and create a lace-like look. The sugar is what allows the cookies to harden. If you want to create more spread, Shirley recommends adding another half tablespoon of melted butter, which I did.


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