Nothing draws a crowd like the alluring smell of freshly cooked waffle-cones, which is how the pasticceria Buonocore in Capri stays packed with gelato-craving tourists at all hours of the day and night. I’m not much one for lines, so while Dr. France held the fort for my cono di stracciatella, I perused the shop seeking photos and samples of their other local flavors. Enticed to buy some familiar looking almond cookies labeled “Caprilu Limone”, I was completely blown away by the crisp, sugar dusted exterior, with a chewy, lemony-marzipan center. Made with almonds, honey and lemons for that quintessential Italian citrus goodness, the little morsels go perfectly with a chilled shot of the other island specialty: limoncello. Needless to say, Buonocore wasn’t handing out their recipe, however after some testing on the home-front, I’ve come up with my best version to bring a bite of the Amalfi coast to your kitchen… and as an added bonus, they’re gluten-free… Buonissimo!
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15-20 minutes
Makes 30-35 cookies
2 egg whites, room temperature
1 pinch salt
½ cup (100g) sugar
4 cups (320g) almond flour
¼ cup (90g) honey
juice of 2 lemons (50g)
zest of 3 lemons
½ tsp. almond extract
½ tsp. vanilla extract (optional)
¾ cup (75g) sliced blanched almonds
¼ cup confectioner’s sugar for dusting
- Preheat the oven to 325˚F.
- Whisk egg whites and salt until soft peaks form; sprinkle in sugar and continue to whisk to firm peaks. Use a spatula or the paddle attachment to fold almond flour into the whites.
- Add remaining ingredients, except confectioner’s sugar, and combine thoroughly.
- Cookies can be spooned individually onto a sil-pat, or rolled into a log and cut for more uniform shapes. For the latter, lay out a long piece of plastic film and sprinkle a horizontal line of confectioner’s sugar across the center. Add the cookie dough along the line, fold the plastic over and roll it into a long tube, 1 ½” in diameter. Unwrap the plastic, sprinkle with powdered sugar, cut into 1 ½” pieces and arrange on a sil-pat.
- Bake for 20 minutes, turning halfway through, until edges are crisp and golden. Cool completely before removing and dust with additional confectioner’s sugar. Store in a sealed container up to 4 days.
- Variations: Having tested and adjusted this recipe a handful of times, I must admit that each version made a great batch of cookies, so feel free to adjust according to your preferences. Here are a few suggestions…
- For a looser, more lemony cookie: add the juice of a third lemon and spoon them out onto the silpat with slightly more room between each for spreading.
- For a firmer, crustier cookie: (still just as moist in the center) mix 1/2 cup sugar together with the almond flour instead of honey.