The perfect elegant cookies for tea are these dainty almond crisps delicately scented with orange zest.
Makes 3 dozens
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Line two or more baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
3/4 cup blanched almonds
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons grated orange zest
2 large egg whites at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
Grind the almonds in a food processor until they are almost the consistency of flour.
Transfer to a bowl and stir in the sugar, orange zest and salt. Set aside.
In a separate bowl beat the whites and almond extract together until soft peaks form.
Do not over beat or the egg whites will be too dry. They should look soft and shiny and be able to hang off a rubber spatula without falling off.
With a rubber spatula, fold the whites into the almond mixture; do this gently so as not to deflate the batter.
Use a teaspoon to spoon the batter onto the baking sheets, leaving 1 inch between.
Bake for 15 minutes or until the edges are slightly browned.
Remove from the oven and transfer the parchment sheet with the cookies to a cooling rack.
Do not attempt to remove them immediately or they will crumble.
When they are cool, use a butter knife to remove them from the parchment and cool completely on a wire rack