This is traditional Belgian cookie, known as almond bread (pain d’amande).
I love anything super-crisp so naturally, this is one of my all-time favorite cookies. They go with anything, from a bowl of ice cream to a steaming cup of coffee.
Be sure to bake them on parchment paper since if you use a silicone mat, they won’t get as crispy. And the other tip is not to let the sugar melt in the butter; the big crystals add a wonderful crunch to these delightfully-delicious cookies. -David Lebovitz
Melt the butter in a medium-sized saucepan over low heat with the sugar, cinnamon, and water. Stir until the butter just melts but don’t allow to boil: most of the sugar should not be dissolved.
Remove from heat and stir in the flour, baking soda, salt, and almonds until well mixed.
Line a 9-inch (23cm) loaf pan with plastic wrap and press the dough into the pan so the top is smooth. Chill until firm (2-4 hours or overnight).
To bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 325º (160ºC.)
Using a very sharp chef’s knife, slice the dough crosswise, as thin as possible, into rectangles. If you can get them as thin as a coin, all the better. The thinner they are, the more delicate and crisp they’ll be.
Space the cookies on parchment lined baking sheets and bake for 6-12 minutes, or until the cookies feel slightly firm and the undersides are golden brown. Flip the cookies over and bake an additional 6-10 minutes, until the cookies are crisp and deep golden-brown on top. The baking times depend on how thin you cut the cookies. Start checking on them at around 6 minutes.
Cool completely, then store in an airtight bin until ready to serve.
Storage: Once baked, the cookies will keep in an airtight container for up to three days. The dough can be stored in the refrigerator for up to four days, or frozen for up to two months, if well-wrapped.
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