While living in Jerusalem for several years, I tasted some of the best dishes of my life. But I learned that even miraculous culinary feats sometimes cannot beat the comfort of something familiar, like those delicious Trader Joe's Lacey cookies. To abate my longing, I came up with this strikingly similar recipe so I could enjoy my favorite cookies from my Jerusalem kitchen. The orange zest is very subtle - just adding a slight freshness and pleasant fragrance to these delicious treats! —Lauren Wilner
1) You MUST follow the order here. I have accidentally added the almond mixture at the wrong stage and the cookies did not spread.
2) Cool your tray with water each time you remove it from the oven (it will not warp your tray) or get three trays handy because if you drop your batter onto a heated tray the cookies will start to spread instantly and will be oddly-shaped.
3) If you end up with any oddly shaped cookies, just take some scissors and cut the edges into a nice shape before the cookies have completely cooled.
4) These can be made ahead and chilled in the fridge.
Preheat your oven to 350 F and line two baking trays with parchment paper; set aside. Bring the butter, sugar, milk, vanilla, and honey to a boil, stirring continuously. Once it reaches a rolling boil, wait one minute and then remove from the heat.
In a separate bowl, mix the flour, almonds, cinnamon and orange zest together and then add them slowly to the heated mixture, making sure everything is incorporated well. Let sit for about 20 minutes or until the mixture is cool enough to be handled, even though you won’t be handling it. If the mixture is stiff when you return to it, warm it up over a low flame for a minute or two.
Drop teaspoon-sized balls onto your parchment paper, leaving about three inches space between each of the cookies because they will spread a lot. While the cookies are in the oven, create a double-boiler to melt the chocolate or melt it in the microwave.
Leave them to cook for 6-8 minutes. If you want them more like toffee brittle leave them in on the longer end. I like mine slightly chewy in the center and crispy on the outside. Once the centers are bubbling and they have a goldeny-brown color, remove them from the oven. Immediately remove the parchment paper from the tray and let them cool on your countertop. After about three-five more minutes, you’ll be able to remove them from the parchment paper without a problem; any sooner and they’ll still be soft and will break.
Once you’re able to remove them from the parchment, you can wrap however many you want around the handle of a wooden spoon and create a flute. OR, you can fold them to create a bowl for ice cream. OR, you can teaspoon chocolate onto the flat side of a cookie and sandwich it between another, which is my preference. Place them in the fridge for about 15 minutes to get the chocolate hard. Enjoy!