Tag Archives: Baking and Confections

Portuguese Cookies That Taste Chinese – from the Gourmet Cookie Book

The hardest part of making these cookies is not eating the cookie dough.   It’s right up there with chocolate chip cookie dough.

When I bought the ingredients, the check-out clerk commented – You are making Asian style cookies? But The Gourmet Cookie Book has them listed as Portuguese – “Almond Bolas” from the 1970s.  They taste like macaroons to me (raw or cooked), but no coconut in this recipe.

So easy…

With my new Christmas present-to-me Cuisinart mini-food processor, I ground 3 cups of blanched almonds, combining with 1 1/2 cups Japanese Panko bread crumbs and 1 1/2 cups superfine sugar.  After whipping up 3 egg whites until stiff peaks formed ( with my other present-to-me 7-speed hand mixer),   I gently folded in egg whites and 1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract.

That’s it – no butter, no flour.

Form tablespoons of dough into balls; place balls on buttered baking sheet.  Make a dent in the middle (shaping the cookie around your thumbprint).

In a separate bowl, beat the 3 egg yolks with an additional egg.  Fill the cookie hollows with the 1/2 teaspoon beaten egg, topped with almond slivers (or whole almond).  Top one cookie at a time to catch the yolk mixture before it seeps into the dough.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 12-15 minutes, or until cookies are golden.    Cool on wire rack.

The Chinese year 4709 – Year of the Rabbit –  begins on Feb. 3, 2011.  These cookies will not last until then – too good.

Lemon Thins from 1976

I bought The Gourmet Cookie Book for a present, but decided to keep it after thumbing through the pages. Cookies published in Gourmet – from 1941-2009 – from birth to death of the magazine – with full-page pictures.

The older the recipe, the easier. None are really healthy, but this is the season to indulge, so why worry.  I made the first batch of lemon thins for a gift, but ate them – all of them – my rationalization: they are very thin…

For fellow lemon (and butter) lovers…

Lemon Thins from the Gourmet Cookie book:
“In a bowl, beat 2 eggs with 2/3 cup sugar and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla for 3-4 minutes, or until the mixture forms a ribbon when the beater is lifted, and add 2 teaspoons grated lemon rind.   In a bowl, beat 6 tablespoons butter, softened, until it is light and fluffy and add it to the egg mixture alternately with 2/3 cup flour.

Drop the batter by teaspoons 2 1/2 inches apart on well buttered baking sheet; flatten the mounds into 2 inch rounds with a spoon dipped in water, and bake in 400 degree oven for 5 minutes, or until the edges are lightly browned.

Cool cookies on wire rack.

What to do with the rindless lemons? Gourmet has a recipe for lemon sandwich cookies, but for now I think sliced into glasses of water will be fine.