This is the one cookie my husband requested our first Christmas. I had never had them so this recipe is from an amazing blog called Spoonful of Sugar. They are difficult but this recipe makes them also delightful and fun to try if you have the time. The best thing about this recipe (besides the sit down, relax, and have a cup of tea step!) is she gives you her hints after a disastrous first attempt. If you follow this exact, even a non-careful cook like me can make these delicious. Her hints are below, but I will say that I think much depends on the almonds. If they aren't ground just right, you will be nearly unable to form them. You can try chilling them longer but I have given up before and just made them round globs. they are still delicious, so don't throw the batter out, even if you think it is unworkable!
* I beat the egg whites with the lemon juice to ensure that they whipped up to the biggest possible volume.
* Mixed the ground cinnamon with the ground almonds before folding that mixture into the meringue.
* Most importantly, I rolled the dough out between two sheets of clingfilm (Plastic wrap). I am the Clingfilm Queen! This eliminates the need to cover the work surface in extra sugar and thus removes the possibility of things ending in a sticky mess. Divide the dough into smaller portions to do this, keeping the remainder of the dough in the fridge whilst working with one portion.
* Dipped the cookie cutter in some cold water to prevent it sticking.
* Re-rolled all the scraps as they hadn't been toughened or made overly sticky by adding in extra sugar.
The cookies taste as good as they look. Sweet, almondy, and with a heavenly aroma and kick from the cinnamon.
Oh, I did have to bake them a lot longer than the recipe or. I did 320 degrees for I think around 16 minutes each, it might have been my oven, or mine were thicker, anyway just keep checking them and take them out when they just get a bit beige. My first batch were undercooked and the ones a bit crispier on the outside were awesome.