Fragile and delicate in the extreme, these cookies are a labor of love to make because you need to bake them one pan at a time on the middle rack of the oven. If you have a double oven, start to bake another pan a couple of minutes before the first pan is ready to come out. These spread best on a bare buttered pan; brush the pans with very soft but not melted butter. If you don’t mind cookies that are a little thicker, you may use silicon mats to bake them.
Makes about 30 cookies
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, very soft
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/3 cup finely ground blanched almonds
3 cookie sheets or jelly-roll pans, buttered with soft butter
- Set a rack in the middle level of the oven and preheat to 350˚F.
- In a small mixing bowl, use a medium rubber spatula to stir together the butter, sugar, vanilla, and salt. Add the egg and beat until smooth.
- Add the flour and almonds and stir smooth.
- To save time, deposit all the batter on the pans right away. Drop level measuring teaspoons of the batter onto the pans at least 3 inches apart in all directions. Put 10 to 12 mounds of batter on each pan.
- Bake one pan of cookies until they have spread, come to a simmer on the pan, and are deep golden in color, 5 to 7 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the oven and immediately place another pan in to bake.
- Let the cookies cool for about 20 seconds, then slide a wide thin-bladed spatula under the edge of the cookie closest to you and gently work the spatula back and forth to pry the cookie off the pan and move it to a parchment-covered pan or wire rack to cool. Repeat with remaining cookies. Don’t get nervous, but you have to do this quickly while the cookies are still warm or they’ll shatter when you try to lift them from the pan.