As Valentine’s day approaches, you know there’s going to be some Valentine’s day recipes popping up on this blog. The first of these recipes is Rossella Rago’s almond swirl cookies with amarena cherries. I mean look at them, don’t they scream Valentine’s day?
When I was deciding what to make for Valentine’s day, I was talking to Rossella about something completely different (probably an arugula salad). It was then that she mentioned that I should make her almond cookies with amarena cherries. She thought I would love them. And you know what? She was right.
The flavor of the almonds and amarena cherry in the cookie is such a perfect combination. The amarena cherry (think a wild, sour cherry) gives the cookie the perfect pop of flavor and surprise when you bit into it.
Rossella told me that these are her favorite cookies of all time and I can see why, they were an absolute hit! Thank you Rossella for recommending this recipe!
Almond Swirl Cookies with Amarena Cherries
Recipe from Rossella Rago’s Cooking With Nonna Cookbook
For the cookies:
Butter, for greasing
16 ounces (454g) almonds (I used whole almonds with the peel)
1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
2 egg whites
zest of 2 lemons
4 ounces (113g) amarena cherries, drained (I got mine at Cioffi’s in Vancouver, and they’re available online here)
For the icing:
1 cup (100g) icing sugar
1 tbsp plus 1/2 tsp whole milk
4 ounces (113g) semisweet chocolate
Make the cookies:
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a baking sheet with butter.
- Add the almonds to a food processor and process until the texture is fine and grainy, almost like coarse sand, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and add granulated sugar, egg whites and lemon zest. Mix well with your hands until a paste forms.
- Take a walnut-sized amount of paste and roll it into a ball. With index finger, press a deep indentation in the center of the ball and insert one cherry. Roll the ball closed, adding a bit more paste to patch the hole if necessary. Repeat until dough is finished.
- Place the cookies on the cookie sheet and press down on them gently so they are a little flat on top. Bake for 15-16 minutes. The cookies will seem soft when they come out of the oven but will harden as they cool. Transfer to a wire rack with foil underneath.
Make the icing:
- In a small bowl, mix together the icing sugar and milk until smooth.
- Dip each of the cookies into the icing, letting the excess run down the cookies. Or, you can dust the cookies with icing sugar.
- Melt the chocolate in the microwave. Cool for 5 minutes and transfer to a ziploc bag. Snip the tiniest corner off of a corner of the bag and create a swirl design on each cookie. Let dry.
- Enjoy your cookies and Valentine’s day!