I’m a little surprised that there aren’t more recipes with orange. Sure, a little zest gets thrown in now and then. But I am talking about desserts that really feature orange as the primary flavor. They are rare. I love oranges and I am always on the lookout for recipes that go beyond that bit of orange zest to brighten them up. Orange was what attracted me to these cookies initially, but I am also developing a little bit of a thing for meringues. This recipe combines the two and made it onto the list of 12 cookies from the very start. As Nancy Silverton promises, they are seriously addictive. They also offer a nice change of texture from the usual cookie tray offerings. They are bright and fruity with a nice satisfying crunch. They are one of my personal favorites from this collection of cookies. One more thing that needs to be said about these—and I hope this doesn’t turn some of you off—they taste like FRUIT LOOPS! Seriously. In the very best way possible. Like the fanciest Fruit Loops in the world.
EXCITING DAY TOMORROW! Another very special cookie and fun collaboration with one of my favorite websites! PLUS I’ll be bringing you the first annual Lottie + Doof Gift Guide. It will be the Best Friday Ever.
Orange-Almond Buttons (Nancy Silverton)
- 2 1/2 ounces (heaping 1/2 cup) blanched or unblanched almonds
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest
- 2 extra-large egg whites
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds (for decorating)
- confectioner’s sugar (for decorating)
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade, combine nuts with 2 tablespoons of the granulated sugar and process until it’s the consistency of a fine meal. Add 1/4 cup of the granulated sugar, the flour, and orange zest, and pulse on and off until just combined.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the egg whites on low, until frothy. Turn the mixer up to medium-high and beat until soft peaks form, another 2 to 3 minutes. Turn the mixer to high, gradually add the remaining 2 tablespoons of the sugar, and beat until stiff peaks form, about 2 to 3 more minutes.
Remove the bowl from the mixer. In 3 batches, gently fold in the nut mixture to incorporate.
If using a pasty bag, fill it half full. Working quickly, pipe or spoon the batter into circles, about 1 inch in diameter and spaced about 1 inch apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Scatter about 3 to 5 sliced almonds over each circle, allowing the nuts to topple off the edge slightly while still clinging to the batter. Sift a fine layer of powdered sugar over the cookies and bake about 20 minutes, until the nuts are lightly browned, and the cookies are slightly firm to the touch.
Yield: 36 cookies
Previously on the 12 Days of Cookies: