Once, a professor told me he thought that it’s people from New England who are most attuned to the weather. When the day starts with a brisk autumn morning but ends in a wild windy rainstorm with the ocean so tumultuous it can be heard a mile away, you become used to watching for weather. (The professor cited the example of a fellow professor from southern California who rarely mentioned weather – even the seasonal newsletters she wrote for the department.)
New England rubbed off on me, and even in Philadelphia I’m stuck on what’s going on outside. For the past few weeks, my entire neighborhood has been sprinkled by the pink confetti of falling blossoms off the trees that line the streets. My steps have been carpeted with cotton candy-colored soft petals, and my walks home are marked by the pollen-y scent. Perhaps I’m a bit too romantic when I think about the nice part of spring (before it gets hot), but the weather and the flowers do put me in a nice mood.
And nice moods mean cookies. I decided to try a new kind – largely because I recently came into some leftover matzoh when my roommate left, and because I have found a nearby store that sells nuts in bulk (relatively) cheaply. (See recipe below)
Almond Matzoh Cookies from Big Girls Small Kitchen
Note: These are really too sticky to take anywhere. But, they’re delicious enough to eat at home. They go very well with a cup of tea.
Juice from 1 orange (1/4 cup)
1/2 cup sugar, plus 2 tablespoons
1 cup sliced almonds
3 tablespoons softened butter, diced
3 sheets unsalted matzoh
In a small, heavy saucepan, combine the orange juice with the 2 tablespoons of sugar. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then lower the heat and let simmer gently for about 2 minutes, until syrupy.
Combine the remaining sugar, 1/2 cup almonds, and a pinch of salt in the bowl of a food processor. Process until finely ground, then add the butter and pulse to distribute it. Add in the egg and process until the mixture is creamy.
Arrange the matzoh on the cookie sheet. While it may seem like a good idea to break into small, cookie-sized pieces at this phase, the toppings make the entire mass just stick together – so, break up the pieces after you’ve baked them.
Brush each slice generously with the orange syrup. Spread the almond filling across each, getting it all the way to the edges. Sprinkle with the remaining almonds.
Bake for 10-12 minutes, until the almond cream is firm, the sliced almonds are slightly golden, and the edges of the matzoh are brown.