The Crumby Family is on a cookie making spree! (And unfortunately, for our overall health, it’s also a cookie eating spree. :-/ I guess I need to step up my long-distance training!!) But, I digress. So, back to the topic of yummy almond paste!
I was digging through Isa Chandra Moskowitz & Terry Hope Romero’s cookbook, “Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar: 100 Dairy-Free Recipes for Everyone’s Favorite Treats” for a new cookie recipe & found a very non-traditional (at least for the Crumby Family) recipe: Pignoli Almond Cookies. I had most of the ingredients, except for almond paste, which was a new one for me. I love almonds but my initial reaction was that almond paste would be akin to almond butter & not a very exciting ingredient. I also figured that this specialty ingredient may not be sold at my local grocer & if it was sold, it would be buried in the shelves, close to the expiration date. 🙂
So, I took to the Internet to find out WHAT almond paste is. To my delight, it’s a super sweet paste, made from equal parts almonds & confectioners’ sugar. The consistency is very close to almond butter (hence the term “paste”) & creates a great binding ingredient (as opposed to eggs.)
In addition to finding out what the ingredient was, I also found a super fabulous recipe to DIY! Thanks to the fine folks @ Taste of Home, I didn’t have to leave my home to find this item! I am lucky to have all the ingredients on hand so I could experiment to my heart’s delight!
There was one part of the recipe that caused me alarm. The recipe required an egg white but there was no baking to actually cook the egg. While I suspect this is fine, I didn’t want to take any unnecessary chances so I substituted a flax “egg” in lieu of the egg white. This type of substitution may offend some purists, but I don’t know any different, so it was fine (& perfectly safe) for me!
Finally, making your own almond paste is significantly cheaper than buying it at the store. Even though I made it @ home, I checked prices anyways. A standard 7 oz. tube runs ~$4.50. This 12 oz. recipe costs $5.07. That’s a savings of 34% per ounce – not too shabby! And, I’d argue that the quality of this recipe would allow you to use 6 oz. (in lieu of the standard 7 oz.) & not sacrifice taste. This results in a more economical use of your $$!
For this particular recipe, I relied heavily on Vitacost! If you’re a first-time Vitacost shopper, you can save $10 off your 1st $30 order! Just use this link – http://goo.gl/B4fqQP – to claim your savings. Don’t forget – they offer free shipping on orders $49 or more. Vitacost sells a ton of products (from food to beauty) so I can easily load up $49 in my virtual cart! I suspect it may be easy for y’all too! 🙂
Recipe adapted from Taste of Home.
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