First planted in Sicily by Arabs in the tenth century, almonds are used frequently in Polizzani desserts, as well as in savory dishes. Thus love affair has been going on for a thousand years.
12 ounces (2-1/4 cups) whole blanched almonds
1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon honey
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
6 to 7 drops green food coloring
2 egg whites, lightly beaten
Confectioners' sugar, for dusting
Coarsely chop the nuts in a food processor by pulsing for a few seconds. Add the granulated sugar and continue to process for about 2 minutes, until the almonds turn into a meal as fine as the sugar. Transfer the almond mixture to a bowl, breaking up any clumps.
In a small bowl, thin the honey with the almond extract and food coloring. Using an electric mixer fitted with a paddle on a low speed, or by hand, thoroughly mix the honey mixture and the egg whites into the almonds to form a sticky, heavy paste.
Lightly dust a work surface with confectioners' sugar, and with dusted hands form the paste into a bal. Knead it, adding pinches of confectioners' sugar as required, until the paste is cohesive and the surface is less sticky.
Line a sheet pan with kitchen parchment. Place the paste in a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2 inch fluted tip. Pipe the paste onto the pan in 3-inch squiggles, close together. Place the pan in the refrigerator, incovered, and chill overnight.
Remove the cookies from the refrigeratorr, and preheat the oven to 300 degrees F, with a rack positioned in the center.
Bake the cookies for 20 minutes. Remove them from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Then rebake them for an additional 10 minutes. Let the cookies cool to room temperature before removing them from the pan.
Many Beautiful Things
Stories and Recipes from Polizzi Generosa
By Vincent Schiavelli
Illustrations by Santo Lipani
Published by Simon & Schuster
$26.00; 240 pages
Recipe reprinted by permission.
More about the book in Kate's Global Kitchen: Food of Love: Schiavelli's Sicilian Connection
This page created January 2003
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