Almond Meal Cookies

It is Sweet Punch time of the month again! We are celebrating our one year anniversary and we were allowed to bake any item of our choice! We have been baking pizzas, wholewheat almond cookies,  fruit crumbles, molten lava cakes and many more interesting bakes! I chose to adapt Martha Stewart recipe this month and bake this delicious almond meal cookies. They were perfect for tea time and they tasted very much like the chinese almond cookies served at restaurants after meals.

 They are so easy to put together and can also be made with fresh almonds instead of almond meal. I just had a pack of almond meal from TJ's waiting to be finished up and hence used it in this recipe.

Almond meal - 1 cup
Unsalted butter (at room temperature) - 1 cup
Sugar - 3/4 cup
Egg - 1
Finely grated orange zest - 1 teaspoon
All purpose flour/maida - 1 cup
Baking soda - 1/2 teaspoon
Salt - 1/4 teaspoon

Note: If using whole almonds instead of the almond meal, toast 1 cup of almonds in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for about 5 to 6 minutes. Allow it to cool and pulse in a food processor until finely powdered. Do not over process as it might turn into almond butter.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar together with an electric mixer or with a whisk until it turns fluffy. Add the whole egg and the orange zest and continue beating until it turns into a smooth mixture.In another bowl, whisk all the dry ingredients together - the flour, almond meal, salt and baking soda. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until well incorporated.Grease or line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Using 1 level tablespoon per cookie, roll dough into balls. Place on prepared sheets, at least 1 inch apart. Using the floured end of a thick wooden spoon handle (or your thumb), press lightly in the center of each cookie. Place a whole almond or sliced almonds in each indentation.Bake, rotating sheets halfway through, until golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool slightly; transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. 

Enjoy with tea or as a dessert!

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