Almond Brittle Cookies

"These take a little bit of work, but they are well worth it. Surpise a far-away friend or family member with this treat, as it travels very well, and is ideal for shipping. Prep times does not include chilling time, which is about 2-1/2 hours."
photo by a user photo by a user
Ready In:
1hr 20mins
60 cookies




  • Make cookie crust: Using electric mixer, beat butter at medium speed until light. Add sugar, salt, and orange zest; beat until fluffy, 3-5 minutes. Add egg, milk, and vanilla and beat until blended. Add flours and mix at low speed just until smooth. Refrigerate, wrapped in plastic wrap, until firm, at least 2 hours. Let dough warm at room temperature briefly before rolling out.
  • Lightly butter 15-1/2x10-1/2" baking sheet. Roll out dough on lightly floured surface to rectangle slightly larger than baking sheet. Line baking sheet with dough, letting edges hang. (Dough can also be pressed into pan with fingertips.) Refrigerate at least 20 minutes.
  • Heat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Trim dough flush with pan. Prick all over with fork. Bake until light golden, 16-18 minutes. Prick any air bubbles with fork.
  • Mix jam and liqueur together and brush over hot pastry.
  • Make topping: Melt butter in heavy saucepan over medium heat. Stir in sugar, honey, and salt. Cook, stirring constantly, until sugar dissolves. Stir in cream and boil, stirring constantly, until lightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla, lemon juice, and almonds.
  • Very gently spread almond mixture in smooth layer over pastry without disturbing raspberry glaze. Bake until bubbly and golden brown, 17-20 minutes.
  • Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Cut into 1" squares. Store in airtight containers.

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I didn't start cooking until my early 20's, even though I come from a family of accomplished and admired home cooks. While I grew up watching my Italian grandmother in the kitchen, I remained uninterested in trying anything on my own. As a young lady, I was known for being particularly ignorant in the kitchen, with no idea how to even make a hot dog! All this changed, however, when I got engaged. I realized it was time to let my inherent talents out of the bag. At the time, the New York Times had a weekly column called The 60-Minute Gourmet by Pierre Franey. Each week, I would follow these recipes diligently, and taught myself to cook that way. From there, I began to read cookbooks and consult with relatives on family recipes. At my ripe old age now, I feel I know enough to put together a very pleasing meal and have become accomplished in my own right. Having an Irish father and an Italian mother, I'm glad I inherited the cooking gene (and the drinking one too!). One thing I have learned is that simpler is always better! I always believe cooking fills a need to nurture and show love. After being widowed fairly young and living alone with my dog and cats, I stopped cooking for awhile, since I really had no one to cook for. I made care packages for my grown son occasionally, and like to cook weekly for my boyfriend, so I feel like I am truly back in the saddle!!
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