Fregolata, an Italian Crumb Cookie

READY IN: 1hr 15mins
SERVES: 8-10




  • Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment.
  • Pulse the nuts in a food processor to finely chop, allowing some larger pieces of nuts to remain.
  • In a large bowl, combine butter, almonds, flour, sugar, salt and cinnamon. In a small bowl, beat egg yolks with 1 tablespoon of the milk.
  • Add the extract.
  • Drizzle yolk mixture over almond mixture and toss with fingers to combine and get everything moistened (If needed add up to 1 more tablespoon of milk).
  • Mixture should still be crumbly, but not dry, like a crisp topping.
  • Sprinkle 1 cup (about half of the crumbs) on the prepared baking sheet and press lightly to create a thin, even 8-inch round.
  • Sprinkle remaining crumbs over the top to give the cookie some texture. Bake until golden brown and crisp, rotating baking sheet halfway through baking, about 30 minutes.
  • For an extra crispy cookie, turn oven off at this point and let the pan rest in oven for 10 minutes.
  • Cool on a rack until easy to handle.
  • Slip the fregolata on the paper onto a rack to cool completely.
  • When cool, sift confectioners' sugar over top.
  • TO SERVE:.
  • place a whole almond or overturned demitasse spoon under the center of the fregolata and rap the top with a spoon or the side of a knife to crack into serving pieces.
  • Dough can be frozen on cookie sheet for up to 1 week and baked from the freezer (for an extra 5 to 10 minutes). Store baked cookie in an airtight container or on a baking sheet wrapped with plastic wrap for up to 1 week. Baked cookie can be wrapped in plastic wrap, then aluminum foil, and frozen for up to 2 weeks.