Pinches of Almond Paste

This recipe (below) makes approximately 25 or so (depending how you roll them). I always double the recipe!

I measure by weight (scale) to ensure the right amounts. However, when I double it, I don’t do double the sugar, I use 450g of regular sugar and not 500g when doubling the recipe. I took pics of me making it (below) to show you some of the steps.

Ingredients

250g almond flour

250g Regular Sugar (you can use a little less depending on your sweet tooth)

70g egg whites (I purchase just egg whites in a carton)

1/2 a teaspoon of pure almond extract

Zest of 1/2 a lemon

Icing Sugar (enough to put in a bowl to roll the balls around in)

Directions

  1. Fit your mixer with the whisk attachment, and beat your egg whites until pretty well beaten, stiff peaks, whatever you like.

  2. Add in the sugar, and keep whisking on high. It will deflate a bit, but you want to mix the egg whites and sugar. A few minutes is fine. While still whisking I add in the almond extract and lemon zest. Let run for another minute or two.

  3. Remove the whisk attachment and change it to the paddle attachment

  4. Add in the almond flour

  5. The trick here is not to overmix. You don’t want to deflate whatever air is in there and you don’t want everything pressed too tightly together. This is the secret (my secret).

  6. Turn on the mixer again, and on low-medium, keep it going for 30 seconds or however long until it incorporates. I always stop it, scrape down the side AND the bottom of the bowl to ensure everything gets mixed. I then run it again for another 20-30 seconds or so. You’ll figure this part out.

  7. In a casserole dish or bowl or whatever is large enough, toss in a lot of icing sugar. You’ll use this to coat the balls/pinches.

  8. So now it’s time to form the balls. You grab some dough, roll it in your hand to form a ball. I then put it in the icing sugar. I do about 5-10 balls and then rinse my hands off and ensure they get well tossed/coated in icing sugar

  9. Pinch each ball with three fingers and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper

  10. When rolling the balls, I often keep the faucet running on low and will place a hand under it to get some moisture on my hand. It helps a lot. Don’t worry about water on the dough when you roll it in your hand.

  11. Once your balls are rolled out, and on the sheet you have to let them sit either overnight in the fridge or at least a food six hours (six hours is what I do now). I sometimes leave them on the counter and cover with plastic cling wrap (though I don’t know if that’s even necessary)

  12. When ready to bake, pre-heat oven to 350F. Bake for 13-14 minutes (now i use 13 minutes..its my magic number). They don’t need to be brown on top. I like them like that. I’ve tested this many times at diff temps and times. Your oven may be different and so you’ll have to see.

  13. Take out of oven, let cool. I find the taste better the next day once fully cooled and rested.

  14. The recipe is based off this one, but with my changes https://ricette.giallozafferano.it/Pizzicotti-di-pasta-di-mandorle.html

Beating egg whites with whisk attachment

Beating egg whites with whisk attachment

Once the sugar, almond extract, and lemon zest has been added.

Once the sugar, almond extract, and lemon zest has been added.

Add almond flour, switch to paddle (or hand mix)

Add almond flour, switch to paddle (or hand mix)

Scrape down side of bowl, shortly after mixing on low, but also scrape bottom, as egg-whites often on bottom don’t get mixed too well

Scrape down side of bowl, shortly after mixing on low, but also scrape bottom, as egg-whites often on bottom don’t get mixed too well

Ready to roll into the balls. Lightly mixed, just making sure everything is incorporated, trying to keep as much ‘air’ in there as possible so they don’t end up too dense.

Ready to roll into the balls. Lightly mixed, just making sure everything is incorporated, trying to keep as much ‘air’ in there as possible so they don’t end up too dense.

Rolled balls into the icing sugar

Rolled balls into the icing sugar

3 finger pinch

3 finger pinch

Let them rest for at least 6 hours before baking. Very important. If you do put in the fridge, make sure you cover, and also ensure they get to room temp. before baking.

Let them rest for at least 6 hours before baking. Very important. If you do put in the fridge, make sure you cover, and also ensure they get to room temp. before baking.

Just out of the oven! Let cool. Best the next day.

Just out of the oven! Let cool. Best the next day.