It’s fun when the girls (or women as we are known as you reach a certain age,) get together to chat, eat, laugh and simply be ourselves. Tomorrow night we’re gathering in my living room to watch that ultimate “girl movie” Shirley Valentine! I’m not cooking, but instead I’m ordering Chinese. But I can’t let the evening pass without making something! So I opted for Almond Cookies. When I lived in Manhattan you received a plate of these delicious treats at the end of the meal, but here in Florida it’s passed by as the waiter slips the check under your nose and presents fortune cookies. (My favorite fortune, on a bus shelter on Amsterdam and 82 Street in Manhattan next to the now closed Silk Road Palace, had this text next to an open fortune cookie: “It wasn’t chicken!”)

But back to my almond cookies. Easy. The ingredients should be in your pantry and if they aren’t, just get a bag of almond flour at the market and keep some almonds in your baking cupboard. I didn’t have whole, skinned almonds, so used slices. No biggie.

So ladies, prepare to enjoy Shirley Valentine, the Chinese buffet and your almond cookies!


  • Remove 2 sticks (8 ounces) of unsalted butter, cube them and bring to room temperature.
  • 1¾ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1⅓ cup almond flour
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, divided into separate containers
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • Whole blanched almonds for topping cookies
  • Sugar for garnish

This recipe is a prime example of why I constantly promote using a kitchen scale. There’s nothing more frustrating than having to use a 1 cup measure, a 1/3 cup measure, a 1/4 cup measure, tablespoons and teaspoons. Just plonk it all onto a kitchen scale in a bowl and measure as you go. Enough of my rant!

Flour. Baking Soda. Almond Flour. Sea Salt.
In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, almond flour and sea salt until well combined.

Room Temperature Butter. Sugar. 1 Egg. Almond Extract. Water.
To the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, add the butter and sugar and beat on medium until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add 1 egg, almond extract and water and beat until well combined.

Spread plastic wrap onto your bench.

Reduce the speed of the mixer to low and gradually add the flour mixture, mixing just until the dough clumps together, about 1 minute. Gather the dough together to form a ball and dump it out onto the plastic wrap. Flatten the dough into a disk, cover with plastic wrap and transfer to the refrigerator to chill for 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 350F and line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. You may need a 3rd baking sheet for a few of the leftover cookies.

While the dough is chilling, whisk the remaining egg in a small bowl for egg wash and set aside.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator, unwrap, and with a knife slice it into strips. Cut the chilled dough into tablespoon portions and roll it between your palms into 1 1/2-inch balls.

Place the balls 2 inches apart onto the baking sheets. Flatten each dough ball slightly and press an almond into the middle. Brush the cookie with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar. Transfer the cookie sheet to the oven to bake, rotating the pans halfway through, until light golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. I set my timer to 7 minutes, then rotate the baking sheets.

Allow the cookies to cool on baking sheet before transferring to a wire rack to completely cool.