Makroud el Louse
(Algerian almond cookies)
Makes 20 to 24 cookies
- Almonds, whole, blanched -- 1 1/4 pound
- Sugar -- 1 cup
- Eggs, beaten lightly -- 2
- Water -- 2 cups
- Sugar -- 1/2 cup
- Orange flower water -- 1 tablespoons
- Powdered (confectioner's) sugar -- 3 cups
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Place the almonds and sugar in a food processor and process until the almonds are finely pulverized. Remove to a bowl.
- Make a well in the center of the almonds and stir in the eggs with a wooden spoon until the dough starts to come together. Then knead the dough with clean hands until smooth.
- Cut the dough into 4 equal portions and remove to a floured work surface. Roll one portion out into a rope about 3/4 inch in diameter. Press down with your palm to flatten the rope to about 1/2-inch thickness. Cut the rope on a diagonal into 1-inch pieces and remove to an ungreased cookie sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough.
- Bake cookies for about 12 to 15 minutes, or until they are lightly browned on top. Remove to racks and cool completely.
- While the cookies bake, bring the water and 1/2 cup sugar to a rapid boil in a saucepan over high heat. Stir to dissolve sugar and let boil for 10 to 15 minutes. Remove and cool to room temperature. Stir in the orange flower water.
- Put powdered sugar in a large bowl. To finish, dip each cookie first in the sugar syrup to wet. Then toss each cookie in the confectioner's sugar to coat well. Shake off the extra sugar, place on a rack to dry and repeat with the rest of the cookies.
Makroud el Louse Variations
- Add 1 tablespoon lemon zest to the almond dough if you like.
- If you are unable to find orange flower water to flavor the syrup, try using 1 teaspoon of lemon essence instead.