Last week it was my sister’s birthday. The whole family decided to do a little BBQ on the beach in celebration. It turned out to be a beautiful evening, low tide and perfect for grilling! The kids had a blast having all their aunties and uncles in one place at the same time. And really, what’s better than the beach?
As you all probably know by now, I don’t like to buy presents for people. I generally make something. For birthdays, I usually bake something sweet. Since my sister is gluten free, my choices were limited. I am not set up for baking gluten free, so I was determined to find a recipe that didn’t involve buying a lot of specialty ingredients. I knew exactly which blog site to check out. Just as I had hoped, there was a very large section of gluten free goods. These particular cookies caught my eye immediately.
I just had to save one or two cookies for myself so I could try them. They were oh so good. But, they were a little on the sweet side, even for me, and the orange did not come out as much as I had hoped it would. So, hopefully, I have made the appropriate adjustments to the recipe below.
Recipe adapted from Joy the Baker
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 4 teaspoons orange zest
- 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
- 10 ounces almond paste
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 large egg whites
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
- confectioner's sugar
- Preheat the oven to 325ºF. Have ready two baking sheets lined with silpat or parchment paper.
- In a small bowl, mix together the granulated sugar, orange zest and vanilla bean seeds. Use your fingers to work the zest and seeds into the sugar, creating a moist, fragrant sugar.
- Place the sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the almond paste and salt. Beat on medium speed to thoroughly mix together.
- In a separate small bowl, whisk the two egg whites with a fork until light and frothy. With the mixer on medium speed, gradually pour in the egg whites. Beat until a smooth paste is formed. Add the almond extract and beat until combined.
- Scoop the batter by the tablespoonful onto the prepared baking sheets. Sprinkle generously with confectioner's sugar. Using the tips of three fingers, make indentations in each cookie.
- Bake cookies for 20-25 minutes, or until cookies are lightly browned on top. Let cool completely before serving or storing.