Another version of my favorite cookies. This time, with lots of cardamom-y citrus-y flavor, crunch and chew. Adapted from Crunchy Bones Cookies, from the book Trick or Treat by Emily Gwathmey and Suzanne Slesin. —mrslarkin
toasted almonds, skins on
toasted hazelnuts, skins removed
cardamom pods, seeds removed and crushed
grated zest of 1 large orange
confectioner’s sugar (spoon into measuring cup, then sweep off excess with a knife or offset spatula)
large egg whites, room temperature
whole toasted almonds and/or hazelnuts for decorating the cookies
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 4 baking sheets with parchment paper.
Place almonds, hazelnuts, cardamom and orange zest in the bowl of a food processor. Process until nuts are ground.
Add confectioner’s sugar and pulse a few more times to blend, and the nuts are finely ground. Turn out to a large bowl.
In a medium bowl, whisk egg whites for a minute or two, until fluffy. Pour over nut mixture, and blend well, mashing the mixture with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula to evenly incorporate the egg whites. Form into a ball shape.
Divide dough into 24 balls. I use a small ice cream/cookie scoop, about 1 1/4 inch in diameter, which make them pretty uniform in size. Place on cookie sheets, 2 inches apart. Press whole almonds/hazelnuts onto cookies. Bake 8 to 10 minutes, or until just lightly browned on top. Let cool completely on pans before removing.
Alternatively, after forming the 24 balls, roll each one out into 4 inch long logs, and form into a chubby “s” shape. A little powdered sugar sprinkled on your fingertips helps with the rolling.
Cooking tip: if your eggs are cold, place them in some hot tap water for a few minutes, to bring them to room temperature faster.