Quaresimali (Lenten Almond Biscuits)

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3 cups almonds
1 cup white sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 eggs
2 tablespoons milk


Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).

Toast almonds in jelly roll pan  for 10 minutes. Let cool. Grind finely 1/4 of the almonds, mix with 1/4 cup of the granulated sugar and set aside.

Grind coarsely the remaining 3/4 almonds and set aside.  In a large bowl stir together flour, remaining 3/4 cup sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon and baking powder. Add the butter and stir until all ingredients are combined.

Stir in coarsely ground almonds and the 2 of the eggs, then knead the dough in the bowl until all ingredients are combined. Divide dough in half.

Form each half into a rectangle 15 X 4 inches.  Transfer rectangles to baking sheets which have been buttered and floured. Brush rectangles well with 1 egg combined with 2 tablespoons of milk.    

Sprinkle with reserved almond/sugar mixture.  Bake them in the upper third of the oven (375 degrees F - 190 degrees C) for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown and skewer comes out clean.  Cut rectangles crosswise into slices 3/4 inch thick.  Let stand 15 minutes in the turned-off oven.  Transfer to racks and let cool thoroughly. Store airtight.