Like Mostaccioli, these cookies are an Italian holiday standard in my family. I never actually saw my grandmother make them, we always bought them from a Polish bakery that specialized in Italian cookies (weird, right?) when we visited my dad’s family in upstate New York. My aunt sends us a big box every year in our Christmas package and they disappear within a couple of days.
You really need a cookie press to get the authentic shape of these cookies (rosettes), but I don’t have a cookie press, nor do I expect you to have one, so I simply roll the dough into balls, flatten them slightly, and press the cherry in the middle. They still taste good and that’s all that really matters with us.
Almond-Cherry Rosettes – makes about 2½ dozen
½ cup sugar
½ cup powdered sugar
½ cup flour
⅛ teaspoon salt
1 can (8 ounces) almond paste
2 egg whites
Candied cheery halves or maraschino cherries, halved
Preheat oven to 300°. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or lightly grease.
Sift together both sugars, flour, and salt and set aside. Break the almond paste up into small pieces using a fork. Put into a mixing bowl and add the egg whites. Use an electric mixer to beat until smooth (2-4 minutes); mix in flour mixture. If the dough is too sticky, add more flour, 1 tablespoon at a time (you may add as much as an additional ¼ of a cup).
Roll the dough into small balls, about 1.5 inches wide. Lightly press the cookies down with your fingers. Top with a cherry half. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until light brown.
This post is linked to Tasty Tuesday.