MAKES ABOUT 4 DOZEN COOKIES
What I love about these bite-size meringue and almond cookies are their delicateness and their almost ethereal texture and taste. And I also love the name given to them by my Tuscan friends and super cooks Giovanni and Iris Lodovici, spumini mandorlati, the literal translation of which is "almond foams". This exquisite cookie calls for only four ingredients, is quick to put together, but requires a 45-minute baking time to produce a dry, crisp spumini that literally melts in your mouth like foam.
1 cup whole blanched almonds
2 large egg whites, at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
Preheat the oven to 225ºF.
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
Grind the almonds in a food processor until very fine and transfer them to a medium-size bowl.
In an electric mixer whip the egg whites until they are foamy. Gradually whip in the sugar, a little at a time, until the egg whites begin to form peaks and appear shiny. Whip in the flour a little at a time. Fold the nuts into the egg-white mixture until they are well blended.
Use 2 teaspoons to spread small rounds of batter onto the parchment paper, spacing the spumini about 1/2 inch apart. They will spread a little. Or fill a tipless pastry bag with the batter and pipe out 1-inch rounds.
Bake the spumini without opening the oven door for about 45 minutes, or until crisp. They should remain pale in color.
Allow the spumini to cool completely on the baking sheets, then carefully remove them from the parchment paper.
Note: These are perfect to serve with fresh fruit, ice cream, or sherbets.
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