Cookies

Almond, Cardamom + Orange Thins


Prep Time : 15 + 15 Minutes | Cook Time : 50 + 15 Minutes | Total Time : 3 hours | Difficulty : A bit fiddly

Hello my lovelies! I lost my credit card which is also my eftpos card on the weekend. I was out for a Sunday walk and I knocked it out of my pocket at some point. So I am running low on butter (naturally) and I have some egg whites to use up from a kugelhopf I made on Tuesday. I have ironically been reading an excellent book called American Cake which is about exactly what it sounds like – the history of cakes in America. Including during the war years and the depression. So I thought I should just suck it up and make do. My circumstances are hardly dire. And guess what? Delicious crisp ethereal cookies are here. So things aren’t all bad. These thin slices of not-too-sweet coffee accompanying perfection take a bit of time but it’s mostly waiting.

Today we are using my favourite spice and almonds with a dash of sweet orange. But you can mix it up how you like. Use up those few leftover pistachios and hazelnuts hiding in pantry to make a superbly nutty treat. Swap the cardamom for your favourite spices. Add a little soft dried fruit. Dip the ends of the slices in a little dark chocolate for extra drama. The good kind of drama. These are just the thing when you want something crunchy and not too sweet with after dinner coffee. And they pair wonderfully with creamy desserts. Use the whites leftover from ice cream base or creme brulee to make matching cookies.

Heat the oven to 180C (350F). Line a loaf pan with baking paper and very lightly grease with vegetable oil.

Whip the egg whites and salt to stiff peaks.

Add the sugar a little at a time and beat until the mixture is glossy and the sugar has dissolved. Add the orange extract or oil and whip briefly to incorporate.

Sift in the flour and cardamom and fold very gently by hand until mostly combined.

Add the almonds and fold to distribute the nuts. This last bit of folding will finish incorporating the flour too.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. How tall/wide your cookies will be and how many you will get depends a little on the proportions of your pan. I have a nifty expandable one so I can make my cookies more rectangular and get more of them. A good sized pullman pan will also give you nice straight sides on your cookies – it’ll just be a bit fiddly smoothing the mixture down in the pan as the sides are tall.

Bake for 40 to 55 minutes until the cookie loaf is dark golden brown and firm when you press in the centre. The time will vary depending on how deep the batter is in the pan so start checking at 40 minutes.

Turn the loaf out onto a wire rack to cool completely. It needs to be fully cold so the insides don’t tear when you slice the cookies.

When the loaf is cold carefully slice it using a very sharp serrated knife. Cut the slices as thin as you can. 3mm or so. When you get near the end of the loaf you may not be able to slice every last bit.

Lay the slices out onto a cookie sheet and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, flipping the cookies halfway through baking until crisp and lightly golden. You can happily let them get darker than this just watch then carefully.

Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

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Almond, Cardamom + Orange Thins


Prep Time : 15 + 15 mins | Cook Time : 50 + 15 mins | Total Time : 3 hours | Difficulty : A bit fiddly

Makes : 20 to 30 wafers depending on how thin you slice

Thin crisp delicate slices studded with almonds and flavoured with cardamom and a hint of orange.

Ingredients:

  • 3 large egg whites
  • 1/2 cup less 1 tablespoon (90 grams) sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 3-4 drops of orange oil or 1/2 teaspoon orange extract
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (90 grams) all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 3/4 cup (70 grams) sliced almonds (or other nuts)

– If using metric cups, reduce volume measures by 1 tablespoon for every cup of dry or liquid ingredients – 

Equipment:

  • Standing or hand-held electric mixer
  • Medium loaf pan lined with baking paper and lightly greased with neutral oil
  • Very sharp serrated knife
  • Cookie sheet lined with baking paper

Directions:

Heat the oven to 180C (350F). Line a loaf pan with baking paper and very lightly grease with vegetable oil.

Whip the egg whites and salt to stiff peaks.

Add the sugar a little at a time and beat until the mixture is glossy and the sugar has dissolved. Add the orange extract or oil and whip briefly to incorporate.

Sift in the flour and cardamom and fold very gently by hand until mostly combined.

Add the almonds and fold to distribute the nuts. This last bit of folding will finish incorporating the flour too.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. How tall/wide your cookies will be and how many you will get depends a little on the proportions of your pan. I have a nifty expandable one so I can make my cookies more rectangular and get more of them. A good sized pullman pan will also give you nice straight sides on your cookies – it’ll just be a bit fiddly smoothing the mixture down in the pan as the sides are tall.

Bake for 40 to 55 minutes until the cookie loaf is dark golden brown and firm when you press in the centre. The time will vary depending on how deep the batter is in the pan so start checking at 40 minutes.

Turn the loaf out onto a wire rack to cool completely. It needs to be fully cold so the insides don’t tear when you slice the cookies.

When the loaf is cold carefully slice it using a very sharp serrated knife. Cut the slices as thin as you can. 3mm or less if you can. Lay the slices out onto a cookie sheet and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, flipping the cookies halfway through baking until crisp and lightly golden.

Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Cook’s Notes:

  • You can mix up the flavour of these wafers endlessly. If you are swapping out nuts or adding dried fruit make sure you use varieties that can be sliced through easily. I find pistachios, walnuts and hazelnuts slice well but I don’t use whole almonds as they can be a bit hard. Soft dried apricots and ready to eat figs are good but some dried figs are a bit dense and will drag on your knife.
  • These wafers are not very sweet so they are perfect for accompanying other desserts like ice cream or anything made with custard like a creme brulee.

 – Keep these cookies in an airtight container and they will last for 2 weeks – 

Adapted from The Cooks Companion by Stephanie Alexander.

© 2018 Wellington Bakehouse. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.

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