This is the first recipe in the book! I didn’t make it first, though, because it uses an ingredient I don’t stock: almond paste.
In fact, I’d never used it before, but it was easy enough to find at my local hippie grocery store. The recipe says “Work until smooth with a wooden spoon”, but the notes from the editor who collected it into the book says “Use a food processor”. Sadly, they don’t actually say *how* to use the food processor, so I put in the plastic dough blade, ran that on the almond paste for a bit, and then started adding in the other ingredients. It appears to have worked, but I have no idea if this is what they meant. Also, the recipe called for 1/2# of almond paste, but my tube was 7 oz. I have to assume this had some effect on the results, but I can’t find it—these look almost exactly like the picture. Cleanup was easy, too—since these baked on parchment paper, the baking sheets were practically clean already, and the only other thing this required was the food processor and a pastry bag(1). Clearly I have to make these again, too. They’re dairy-free, and I bet you could use rice flour and make them gluten-free, too, since the structure is coming from the almond paste and the egg whites.
I planned from the beginning to give most of these away, since I wanted a thank-you gift for someone.
But these are so good I had to put myself on the other side of the room to stop eating them. I packed up the ones I am giving away immediately, lest they disappear in a tea-fueled cookie-blogging frenzy.
I piped the cookies in little swirls, but they spread into 1″ circles. Even the ones I piped into interesting shapes ended up more or less as circles, though I bet I could have piped bigger shapes and gotten something reasonable. The recipe made a lot, too—about 60 little cookies—but they aren’t going to last long.
(1) Okay, you caught me. It was a gallon zip-lock. I don’t have any idea where my cookie press or related items ended up when I cleared the drawer they had been in to put baby-feeding supplies there.