Tag Archives: dessert

Flourless Almond Cake

almond cakes

Flourless Almond Cake

The almond is native to modern-day Syria, Israel, and Turkey, though it was spread to parts of Europe and North Africa in antiquity. Romans referred to almonds as “Greek nuts” and showered newlyweds with them as a fertility charm.

This is the perfect Passover cake.

¾ cup sugar
2 cups slivered almonds
pinch ground cardamom
4 eggs
1 tablespoon almond extract
1 stick butter, at room temperature
¼ cup honey
1 tablespoon lemon juice, freshly squeezed
¼ cup sliced almonds, lightly toasted (or get these from Trader Joe’s – they’re amazing)

Butter a round 9 to 10 inch spring-form pan, and cover the bottom with parchment paper.

Preheat the oven to 350° F.

Place the almonds, sugar and generous pinch cardamom into a food processor and pulse until finely ground. Add the eggs to the mixture followed by the almond extract. Drop in the butter and process until smooth and thoroughly combined.

Pour the batter into the mold. Place on a rack in the middle of the oven and bake for 30 minutes. The cake is done when the top if golden brown, feels springy to the touch and a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.

Remove from the oven and let the cake cool for 10 to 15 minutes. Unmold the cake, invert onto a platter and remove the parchment paper. Invert the cake again onto another platter to have the top of the cake right side up.

In a small saucepan, mix the honey with the lemon juice. Set over medium heat and simmer for a couple minutes, until it has the consistency of a glaze.

Spread the honey on the outer circumference of the cake – about 1 to 2 inches – using a pastry brush. Sprinkle the glazed area with the toasted sliced almonds and serve.

Serves 12 to 15

This cake is adapted from Patti Jinich’s Flourless Almond and Porto Cake

Walnut Butter Cookies

walnut butter cookies

Walnut Butter Cookies

These cookies, called polvorones, trace their lineage to Medieval Arab cuisine, which was rich in sugar and nuts. The tradition was imported by the Moors to Spain, diffused and assimilated throughout Europe, then introduced to the New World by way of 16th century explorers. They are more commonly known today as Mexican Wedding Cookies.

2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
½ cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup finely chopped walnuts (you can also use almonds or pecans)
2 ½ cups flour

powdered sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 350º F.

Beat the butter and powdered sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 10 to 15 seconds. Add the vanilla, salt and nuts.

Stir in the flour by hand, being careful not to over mix.

Form into small rounds and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until just beginning to get a bit of color. Remove from oven.

When cool enough to touch, place in a bowl with powdered sugar and toss gently, trying to get as much sugar as possible to stick to the cookies. Let cool completely before serving.

Makes about 2 dozen cookies