Almonds are my most beloved nut ever,I would add it to everything if my family allowed. I love it in salads and pasta and of course couscous,to name a few,but,as often as possible in my desserts. Perhaps it is the Maltese upbringing where all the best cookies and cakes contain almonds or thanks to my aunt in Morocco who sent me the most sublime cookies, made with,of course,Almonds!!! it is that recollection that prompted me to add the orange flower water (available at most Middle Eastern stores) . However in the absence just add the zest of one large orange as opposed to a medium one. These are buttery,light cookies to enjoy with a steaming cup of coffee or tea or…just on their own.
Photograph by rahul Mahtani
Preheat oven to 325*F and line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper.Set aside.
3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup Rice flour
1/2 cup toasted blanched almonds,ground
1/4 tsp table salt
3/4 cup superfine sugar plus more for sprinkling
3 sticks unsalted butter,room temperature
Zest of 1 medium orange
2 tablespoons Orange flower water
1 tsp vanilla extract
A few tablespoons of toasted blanched almonds for topping cookies
Sift flour, rice flour, almond flour and salt together. Add salt and orange zest.Stir to combine. set aside.
In a stand mixer cream butter for a few minutes to aerate and butter turns light and pale ( about 3 minutes). With mixer on medium speed start to pour in slowly the sugar so the butter fully absorbs the sugar. Continue to mix for an extra minute. Add orange flower water and vanilla extract.Stir just to combine.
Turn speed to the lowest setting. Start to add the flour mixture slowly,but just to combine.Do not over mix or the cookies will be tough.
Roll the dough out between two sheets of wax or parchment paper to about 1/4 inch thick. Cut out desired shapes and place on prepared baking sheets.
Sprinkle on nuts and sugar.
Bake for 20 minutes per sheet until pale golden. Remove from oven and allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for about 5 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely before transferring to an airtight container.