Kate Payne (an alumna of The Honors College where I work), making a comforting Malaysian chicken curry to eat fireside, and dining out at our favorite restaurant, Tavolino, with friends, where we had a wonderful Italian meal.
4 ounces almond paste
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, plus more for dusting
Pinch of coarse salt
1 large egg white
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 300ºF. Grate almond paste using the large holes of a box grater. Put almond paste, sugar, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until crumbly, about 3 minutes. Add egg white and vanilla. Mix until smooth and thickened, about 3 minutes.
Using a pastry bag with a 1/2-inch top, pipe batter onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, spacing 2 inches apart. Bake until cookies are golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack. Just before serving, lightly dust cookies with confectioner’s sugar.
- To make pignoli cookies, another traditional form in Sicilian kitchens, sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon pine nuts into the top of each unbaked cookie.