A little nod in the direction of my papou (dad) because he just lost a family member and because it’s going to be the turn of all fathers to be celebrated soon-ish (June 20). Might as well do things ahead of time, for a change.

The following has always been his favorite cookie, and I decided to condemn mamou (sorry!) to bake him batches upon batches as he inhales the goodies faster than you can say “snort”. The texture and flavor are almost like the eggy, crispy, almond-flavored real deal, only sans egg whites—and sans gluten.

Gros bisous, papou.


1 1/4 cups (200 g) dry roasted unsalted almonds
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (120 g) raw sugar
2/3 cup (84 g) cornstarch or arrowroot powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 teaspoons pure almond extract
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons (40 ml) water

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C, or gas mark 4). Line two large cookie sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
Place almonds, sugar, cornstarch or arrowroot powder, baking powder, and salt in food processor. Process until finely ground.
Add extract and start with 1 tablespoon (15 ml) water, adding more until dough appears a bit dry but holds together when pinched.
Divide dough into 16 equal portions of 1 heaping tablespoon (26 g) each. Do not flatten the cookies as they will spread while baking.
Bake for 18 minutes, or until the edges turn golden brown.
Let cool on sheets until firm enough to transfer to a wire rack. The cookies will crisp up as they cool.

Yield: 16 cookies

Note: These cookies make an excellent pie crust: Grind 20 of them and combine with 3 tablespoons (45 ml) melted nondairy butter, or enough for the dough to stick together when pinched. Press crust into lightly greased 9-inch (23-cm) round baking pan or pie plate, pour filling on top, and chill before enjoying.