When I started perusing recipes on the web they had one trend in common: lard. Most of them also relied exclusively on almond extract for flavor, and I wanted some real almonds in the dough. I finally settled on this recipe, which has an all-butter base and incorporates almond meal. Lard or shortening would give you a slightly crispier texture, but these have that nice sandy texture I remember. I made a few minor changes to the recipe, detailed here:
Crispy Almond Cookies
1 1/3 cups whole almond meal (or pulse whole almonds to get that amount)
1 cup of cold, unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup raw sugar (I used demarera sugar, but plain white is obviously fine)
1 2/3 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
thinly sliced almonds, as garnish
In a stand mixer or mixing bowl, mix together the almond meal, butter, and sea salt until only small bits of butter are visible. Stir in one egg, the almond extract, sugar, and baking soda until combined. Stir in the flour. Dough will be stiff.
Form the dough into a disc and wrap it in waxed paper and chill for at least two hours, or until firm (I chilled the dough overnight).
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Beat the remaining egg with a couple of teaspoons of water to make an egg wash. Roll small balls of dough and place on a cookie sheet that is covered with parchment paper or a silpat liner. Lightly spray the bottom of a glass with cooking spray, and use it to press the dough into discs. Top each disc with a sliced almond, and lightly coat with egg wash. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until the edges are lightly browned. Remove to wire racks to cool.
Thanks for reading,