When my brother and I were little, my mom used to take us on walks through the orange groves near our home in Winter Park to visit the peacocks who lived in them. When the trees were flowering, the orange blossom smell was intoxicating—sweet, floral and heady—and it quickly became my favorite scent. All these years later, just a whiff of it brings back those memories in a rush.
So when I was hunting for holiday cookie baking inspiration this year, I was excited to discover a recipe for Orange-Flower Water and Almond Crinkles in the newish cookbook Cannelle et Vanille Bakes Simple by Aran Goyoaga. Goyoaga is a former pastry chef and her recipes are impeccable. In this one, the orange flavor is a perfect complement to the nutty flavor of the almond flour.
These cookies also happen to be gluten-free, if that's important to you or the person you're giving them to. No matter what, make them. They come together in 20 minutes and taste like sunshine.
Orange-Flower Water and Almond Crinkles
Macarrones de Azahar y Almendra. Makes 15 cookies.
From the Author: These cookies are an amalgamation of various recipes I have made throughout my life: my family’s macarrones de almendra, which are still made at the pastry shop; the macarons at Maison Adam in Saint-Jean-de-Luz; and Moroccan ghriba or ghoriba. They are very simple to put together—a mixture of almonds, sugar and egg—and, as the name indicates, they are cracked on the outside and chewy on the inside. If you prefer not to use orange-flower water, substitute 2 additional teaspoons of finely grated orange zest. You can flavor the crinkles with vanilla, cinnamon, rose water, lemon zest, or anything you prefer.
1½ cups (150 grams) almond flour
1 cup (120 gramgs) powdered sugar, plus more for dusting
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon orange-flower water
1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1. Preheat broiler on high. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Mix almond flour, powdered sugar, lemon juice, orange-flower water, orange zest and half of the beaten egg in a medium bowl. Add a bit more egg until dough is moist and sticky, almost like thick cake batter. Let dough sit at room temperature for 10 minutes.
3. Spread some powdered sugar on a plate. Wet your hands and scoop 1 tablespoon of dough into them. Roll dough into 1-inch ball with your palms, then roll it in powdered sugar. Place dough on baking sheet and repeat with remaining dough.
4. Put baking sheet in hot oven, turn off oven and bake cookies undisturbed for 12 to 15 minutes, until they are cracked and golden brown. Remove from oven and let cookies cool on pan for 10 minutes. They will keep for 1 week in an airtight container.
© 2021 by Aran Goyoaga. Excerpted from Cannelle et Vanille Bakes Simple by permission of Sasquatch Books.