Traditionally these fragrant cookies are scented with orange flower water, but I prefer to use the very aromatic zest of my lemons. They can also be made with tangerines, when in season. I use lemons from my garden or organic lemons in my recipes. If you cannot find organic lemons, wash your lemons thoroughly.
See also the Flourless Kean Almond Cookies
Makes About 50 Cookies
3 lemons, preferably organic and not waxed
1 pound blanched almonds
2 1/2 to 3 cups sugar
Home made Lemon Liqueur, or limoncello liqueur
Confectioners’ sugar or granulated sugar
Zest lemons with a vegetable peeler into long, thin strips. Place peels in a small saucepan; reserve lemons. Add cold water to cover and bring to a boil. Drain peels, add fresh cold water to cover and bring to a boil again. Drain, rinse under plenty of cold running water and drain again. Dry completely with paper towels.
Combine almonds and lemon peels in a food processor and process until finely ground. Juice peeled lemons through a sieve set over a bowl, pressing against fruit to release all juices.
In a large saucepan, combine almond mixture, 2 1/2 cups sugar and 2/3 cup of lemon juice and simmer, stirring constantly, until sugar has dissolved, about 7 minutes. Taste and add more sugar if needed, and set aside to cool.
Shape tablespoon-sized portions of the mixture into 11/2-inch balls or pear shapes, wetting your fingers with lemon liqueur as you work. Arrange cookies on a tray.
Dredge each cookie in confectioners’ or granulated sugar to coat.
Wrap each individually in cellophane or place in an airtight box. Let stand for at least 3 days before serving.