1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Lightly grease two baking sheets, or line with parchment.

  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, blend the almond paste, sugar, salt, and almond flour until the mixture is uniformly crumbly. Add the egg whites one at a time, mixing to make a smooth paste. Stir in the almond extract.

  3. Scoop the dough by heaping tablespoons onto the prepared pans; a level tablespoon cookie scoop works well here. You should have about 24 cookies.

  4. Dust the cookies generously with confectioners’ sugar, then use three fingers to press an indentation into the center of each cookie. 

  5. Bake the cookies for 18 to 22 minutes, just until they’re brown around the edges. Remove from the oven and let cool on the pan on a rack.

  6. Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 10 days; freeze for longer storage.

Tips from our Bakers

  • Different brands of purchased almond paste, as well as homemade almond paste, produce varying results in the cookies' texture. This recipe has been formulated for our homemade DIY Almond Paste, which is simple to make and delicious. If you use purchased almond paste rather than homemade, use 16 ounces (454g); and refrigerate the shaped cookies, uncovered, for at least 2 hours (or as long as overnight) before baking. Exception: If your preferred brand of almond paste is American Almond's "Love 'n Bake," you won't need to refrigerate the cookies before baking; you'll also want to reduce the amount of paste to 10 ounces (284g).  

  • The traditional version of these cookies features a hint of lemon or orange. Use 1/8 teaspoon lemon or orange oil in place of the almond, if desired.
  • Want to make these cookies kosher for Passover? Use this sugar blend in place of the confectioners' sugar: 1 cup (198g) granulated sugar processed or blended until fine with 1 tablespoon potato starch.

  • For a chocolate-almond version: Add 1 cup (170g) chocolate chips to the dough right after you've added the egg whites. Bake as directed. Yield: about 31 cookies.

  • For an Italian pignoli version: Using about 2/3 cup (94g) pine nuts (pignoli); dip the tops of unbaked cookies in the nuts. Flatten them gently on the baking sheet, and bake as directed.

  • Want to make Mandelhörnchen (almond horns)? Make the dough as directed above. When it’s ready to shape, transfer the dough to a pastry bag fitted with a large plain tip. Pipe into U-shaped horns about 2” long and 2” wide. Brush the horns with 1 large egg white beaten with 1 teaspoon cold water, and sprinkle them with sliced almonds. For best results, refrigerate the shaped cookies, uncovered, for at least 2 hours or as long as overnight. Bake the horns in a preheated 325°F oven for 15 minutes. Remove them from the oven and cool on a rack. To dip in chocolate, melt 1 cup chopped bittersweet chocolate with 1 teaspoon vegetable oil or shortening, stirring until smooth. Working with one horn at a time, dip each end into the melted chocolate. Return the horns to the rack for the chocolate to set.

    Join pastry chef Gesine Bullock-Prado as she demonstrates how to make Mandelhörnchen from start to finish. Watch Episode 6 of the Isolation Baking Show now.

    Almond Cloud Cookies – Tip: Mandelhörnchen