This is one of the first holiday cookies I made when I found out I could no longer eat gluten. In those eight years, six of my family members and friends have also had to give up gluten, so these delicious Italian cookies have now become a treasured holiday tradition for all of us.
By the way, no one will know they’re gluten free unless you tell them!
The cookies last for weeks if stored in a dry place.
Makes: about 3 dozen
Prep. Time: 20 min. Bake: 25 min./batch
- 2 packages (8 ounces each) almond paste
- 1 cup sugar, divided
- 1 cup confectioners’ sugar, divided
- 2 tablespoons apricot preserves
- 3 large egg whites, room temperature
- 1/2 cup dried figs, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon grated orange peel
- Preheat oven to 325°.
- Place almond paste, 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar in a food processor; pulse until fine crumbs form.
- Add preserves and 1 egg white at a time, pulsing after each addition to combine.
- Transfer almond mixture to a large bowl; fold in figs and orange peel (dough will be sticky).
- Place remaining sugars in separate shallow bowls. Drop tablespoonfuls of dough into sugar.
- Gently coat and shape into 1-1/4-in. balls. Repeat in confectioners’ sugar.
- Place 1 in. apart on parchment-lined baking sheets.
- Bake 24-28 minutes or until tops are cracked and bottoms are golden brown.
- Remove to wire racks to cool.