Serious Eats: Recipes

Bake the Book: Convent Cookies

Yesterday we began our week of cookie recipes from Fany Gerson's My Sweet Mexico with Anise Cookies, a recipe adapted from monjas or nuns. According to Gerson, these religious ladies do more than their fair share of baking, and in fact, most of the cookie recipes that we are going to be sharing this week were born in convents.

While the women who came up with these Convent Cookies live fairly austere lives, the recipe is far from light. The cookies begin by caramelizing almonds in a sugar syrup. Once the almonds have cooled, they are ground into a crunchy, sugary base. Butter, flour, and egg yolks are mixed into the nuts to make an almondy dough that requires a bit of patience to roll out (perhaps that's a virtue learned at the convent?). Once the little cookies have been cut out of the chilled dough they are brushed with egg white and topped with sugar and slivered almonds.

The finished cookies are crumbly, sweet, and bursting with deep almond flavor.

As always with our Cook the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of My Sweet Mexico to give away this week.

Reprinted with permission from My Sweet Mexico: Recipes for Authentic Pastries, Breads, Candies, Beverages, and Frozen Treats. Copyright © 2010 by Fany Gerson, Ten Speed Press, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, Berkeley, CA.

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