Not a traditional Florentine, this lacelike biscuit is the kind you just can't leave alone. Although its crisp lightness is quite extraordinary, you could brush one side with melted dark chocolate if you like, to justify the name and give it a more substantial texture.
They will keep for 4 to 5 days in an airtight container; just make sure you don't leave them out very long or they will lose their crispness.
Thanks to Jim for this recipe.
Vegetable oil for brushing
2 free-range egg whites
3/4 cup plus 1 tbsp / 100 g confectioners' sugar
2 3/4 cups / 260 g sliced almonds
Grated zest of 1 orange
1. Preheat the oven to 300°F / 150°C. Line a heavy baking sheet with parchment paper and brush lightly with vegetable oil. Next to you have a small bowl of cold water.
2. Put the egg whites, confectioners' sugar, sliced almonds, and orange zest in a bowl and gently mix them together. Dip your hand in the bowl of water and pick up portions of the mix to make little mounds on the lined pan, well spaced apart. Dip a fork in the water and flatten each mound very thinly. Try to make them as thin as possible without creating too many gaps between the almond slices. They should be about 3 1/4 inches / 8 cm in diameter.
3. Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake for about 12 minutes, until the cookies are golden brown. Check underneath one cookie to make sure they are cooked through.
4. Allow to cool, then gently, using an icing spatula, remove the cookies from the baking sheet. Store in a sealed jar.
Reprinted with permission from Ottolenghi: The Cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi & Sami Tamimi, copyright © 2013. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc.
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