For those planning a morning tea with friends, we've got the sweet stuff sorted and simplified the crowd-pleasing almond cookie!
2 cups raw almonds
2/3 cup caster sugar
2 egg whites
1/2 tsp almond extract
1/2 cup icing sugar
Whole almonds or amarena cherries to garnish
KitchenAid 9 cup food processor
Fit the KitchenAid 9 Cup Food Processor with the quad blade, and place the almonds and sugar in the work bowl. Close and secure the lid, turn to high, and process until almonds are completely broken down and mixture has a coarse meal-like consistency - (about 10-15 seconds). Remove the mixture from the work bowl into a separate bowl.
Replace the quad blade attachment with the whisk attachment. Add the egg whites and almond extract. Close and secure the lid, turn to high, and whip the mixture until soft peaks form (about 6-10 seconds).
Use a rubber spatula to scoop the egg whites into the same bowl with almond mixture. Fold the mixture together until a smooth ball can be formed. Divide the mixture into 24 even portions. Roll a portion into a ball and then roll the ball in the confectioners sugar to completely coat; repeat the process for all the dough. Set the prepared balls onto the sheet pan - leaving at least two inches of space around each ball.
With the flat bottom of a glass or a measuring cup, depress each ball down to flatten slightly. (NOTE: At this stage you can either leave the cookies plain; or, use your pointer finger to create a small well in the center of the cookie and fill the well with a whole almond or amarena cherry.) Rest the tray of unbaked cookies at room temperature while you preheat the oven to 177°C degrees.
Bake the cookies in the preheated oven for 30 minutes or until lightly golden brown.