Almond Coffee Crisps

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Easy

  • Makes

    Thirty-six

    2½ inch cookies

Appears in

The Baking Bible

By Rose Levy Beranbaum

Published 2014

  • About
Oven Temperature 350°F/175°C
Baking Time 10 to 15 minutes for each of three batches

In 1994, I had the honor of working with ten other chefs to prepare a dinner for charity at the famed Charlie Trotter’s restaurant in Chicago. My husband, Elliott, even joined in as maître d’. Celebrated chef Jean-Louis Palladin was still alive and at least as colorfully temperamental as Gordon Ramsay is today. We spent the entire day in the state-of-the-art kitchen prepping, and in the evening we were invited to a glorious dinner at the home of noted Chicago gastronome Robert “Tubby” Bacon and his wife, Julie, who gave me this exquisite recipe. She said it was her favorite cookie recipe and now, twenty years later, I am sharing it with you! The only change I’ve made is to use baking powder instead of asking you to make your own by combining cream of tartar and baking soda, which would result in a slightly puffier cookie. If you love coffee, you will adore this crisp, fragile, ethereal cookie, which is like eating coffee-imbued air.

Ingredients

Cookie Dough

Makes 13.3 ounces/378 grams

VOLUME WEIGHT
blanched or unblanched sliced almonds ½ cup 1.8 ounces 50 grams
unbleached all-purpose flour cup (lightly spooned into the cup and leveled off) 2.8 ounces 81 grams
instant espresso powder, preferably Medaglia D’Oro 1 tablespoon, divided . 3.6 grams
baking powder ½ tablespoon . 6.8 grams
fine sea salt teaspoon . 0.7 gram
superfine sugar cup 4.7 ounces 133 grams
unsalted butter (65° to 75°F/19° to 23°C) 8 tablespoons (1 stick) 4 ounces 113 grams
pure vanilla extract ½ tablespoon (7.5 ml) . .

Special Equipment

Two 15 by 12 inch cookie sheets, no preparation needed or lined with parchment | Optional: a makeup brush designed to apply blush, used only for dusting the cookies

Method

Preheat the Oven

Twenty minutes or longer before baking, set an oven rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F/175°C.

Toast the Almonds

Spread the almonds evenly on a baking sheet and bake for about 7 minutes, or until pale gold. Stir once or twice to ensure even toasting and avoid overbrowning. Cool completely.

Process the Almonds

In a food processor, combine the almonds, flour, 2 teaspoons of the instant espresso powder, the baking powder, and salt. Process until the almonds are powder fine, about 2 minutes. Empty the mixture onto a piece of parchment or into a bowl.

Make the Dough

Place the sugar into the food processor and, with the motor running, add the butter, about 1 tablespoon at a time. Process for a few seconds until smooth. Add the vanilla and pulse just to incorporate it. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the flour mixture and pulse just until combined. Scrape the mixture onto a large sheet of plastic wrap and use the outside of the plastic wrap to knead together the dough until completely even and there are no visible streaks of butter. (Visible pieces of butter in the dough will melt and form holes during baking. If there are visible pieces of butter, continue kneading the dough or use the heel of your hand to press them in a forward motion to spread them into the dough.)

Divide the dough into thirds, about 4.4 ounces/126 grams each. Wrap 2 of the pieces in plastic wrap and refrigerate them while rolling the first piece.

Roll the Dough into Balls

Scoop out 12 rounded teaspoons of dough (0.4 ounce/10 grams). Roll each piece of dough between the palms of your hands into a 1 inch ball. Set the dough balls a minimum of inches apart on a baking sheet and press them down to inches wide by ¼ inch high. (Do this 1 at a time, flattening each ball right after you roll it, or roll each ball a second time before pressing it to soften it, which will result in smooth edges.)

Bake the Cookies

Bake for 5 minutes. For even baking, rotate the cookie sheet halfway around. Continue baking for 5 to 10 minutes. The cookies should just begin to brown and still feel slightly soft when pressed very lightly with a fingertip but not keep the impression.

Cool the Cookies

Set the cookie sheet on a wire rack. Lay a sheet of parchment on the counter and place another wire rack on top. Use a pancake turner to lift the cookies onto the wire rack.

Place teaspoon of the remaining espresso powder in a small bowl and use your thumb and index finger to sprinkle it over the surface of the cookies. Alternatively, use the brush, dipping it into the espresso powder and then lightly tapping it over the cookies.

While the first batch of cookies is baking, roll out the dough balls for the second batch. Repeat baking, cooling, and applying the espresso powder with the second and then third batches.

Store

Airtight: room temperature, 3 weeks; frozen, 6 months.