created by: Chef John Csukor
If you’re looking for a gluten-free option, these bite-sized treats made with finely chopped almonds, chewy cherries and a hint of sage are ideal for a sweet snack, or topped with white icing and served as a festive holiday dessert.
2 cups California almonds, whole natural
1/2 cup sugar
5 egg whites
1 tsp vanilla extract
30 cherries, dried, whole
Sage icing (below), as needed
1 cup powdered Sugar
6 Tbs heavy cream
1/8 cup sage, minced – set aside for garnish
Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
Using a blender or food processor, grind almonds and sugar together until fine. The mixture should look like coarse grits.
Using an electric mixer, whip the egg whites and the vanilla extract until the egg whites reach the stiff peak stage. (Pull whip away from egg whites, they should stand up with a slight curl on top)
Using a rubber scraper, gently fold the almond and sugar mixture into the egg whites until fully incorporated. Transfer mixture to a pastry bag with large round tip.
On a parchment-lined greased baking sheet, apply cookies in 1 inch rounds to the tray. Leave roughly ¾ inch space between cookies. Place a whole dried cherry in the center of the cookies before baking.
Place in middle rack of oven and bake for 10 to 12 minutes until golden brown. Remove from oven and place on a cooling rack to let cool.
For icing, whisk together all ingredients until smooth. Once cookies are cooled, drizzle the icing over top of each cookie followed by a sprinkling of the sage.