Acıbadem (bitter almond) cookies have a crunchy outer shell with a chewy center. They're technically macaroons because they are made with just ground almonds, egg whites, and sugar.
Some older bakeries in Turkey that bake only bread will also bake these cookies in addition to their bread.
A common way to serve these cookies is by placing them bottom to bottom (like French macaroons) but without any filling. If you do this, you only need to decorate half the cookies with almonds.
Makes about 20 cookies
1 ⅓ cups almond flour- split (135 grams)
3 egg whites
1 cup granulated sugar (212 grams)
1 teaspoon cornstarch (2-3 grams)
1 teaspoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
25 peeled whole almonds
Optional: 1/4 tsp pure almond extract
- Mix together about 3/4 of the almond flour, 3 egg whites, and sugar in a pot, and then place over a very low flame on the stovetop. Cook for about 12 minutes, stirring constantly. The mixture should never be bubbling.
- At this point you should preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
- Add the rest of the almond flour, and continue to cook over low heat for another 5 minutes.
- Run the bottom of the pan under cold water to stop the cooking process- be sure not to let any of the water get into the pan. Now mix in the cornstarch, lemon juice, and optional almond extract. The mixture (“dough”) should be thick and sticky.
- Using two spoons, transfer the dough to parchment lined baking sheets. Use about 1 tablespoon dough per cookie, and keep the dough ~2 inches apart as the cookies will spread when baked.
- Decorate the cookies with 1 peeled almond in the center, then place in the 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) oven. Immediately turn the heat down to 250 degrees F (120 degrees C) and allow the cookies to bake for ~45 minutes, until the tops are cracked and slightly hardened.
- Allow cookies to cool completely before removing them from the parchment to prevent breaking.
- Serve with coffee or tea!