This recipe has tempted me ever since I first encountered it on Barbara’s blog. If you read her post you’ll understand my sentiments and want to bake a batch too. So, a couple of Mondays ago I awakened at 5:30 am and went to the kitchen, hoping to have these cookies still warm from the oven for our lab meeting. As you shall see momentarily, the road to hell is indeed paved with good intentions.

Because I was a little tired and sleepy I carefully followed the recipe, and even arranged the measured ingredients on the counter top (the mis-en-place, mark of a serious cook). Nevertheless, unimpressed by my organizational skills, the ingredients refused to shape into a dough. No matter what I did, I only found revolving sandy crumbs forming in the KitchenAid mixer bowl. My husband woke up, came to the kitchen with a good morning kiss, but quickly decided to fetch the newspaper and read it with his coffee, far away from the kitchen (smart man that he is).

I returned to Barbara’s blog … had I forgotten something? – nope, everything was in order. So I gathered up portions of the sandy mess, formed them into “balls” and baked them, into what turned out to be unstable, unappetizing blobs. Frustrated, I rolled one into powdered sugar and tried it….Not fit for human consumption. Almost in tears, I began cleaning the kitchen, and while putting the almond flour away I noticed something printed on the bag: “brown rice flour“.

Some days a woman should not leave the comfort of her bed until way past 7 am, possibly around noon. But, I made them again, and… persistence paid off. Would you believe that the correct flour made them just as tasty as Barbara described?

(adapted from Barbara’s blog, originally published in A Blithe Palate)

1 + 3/4 cups (6 oz) almond flour
2 cups all purpose flour
6 T sugar, divided (4 T + 2 T)
8 oz unsalted butter, softened
1 t vanilla
extract zest of 1/2 large lemon
1 t salt

Powdered sugar for dusting the cookies.

Heat the oven to 325 F.

Cream the butter and 4 T sugar until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla until combined, then reduce speed and add the two kinds of flour, salt, lemon zest, and the remaining 2T of sugar. Scoop a spoonful of dough and roll it into a 1 inch ball. You should obtain about 36 cookies.

Place them on a lined baking sheet. Bake them until light brown, approximately 20 minutes. Do not overcook. Half way through baking time, switch the cookie sheets, rotating them to promote even baking. Remove from the oven and dust them liberally with powdered sugar. Cool on a rack. Eat 3 or 4 four cookies while no one is looking.


to print the recipe, click here

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Comments: What a difference a flour makes! 😉 My only change to the recipe was to add a bit of lemon zest, because it’s a natural match for almonds. The dough is easy to shape and has a delightful aroma even in its raw form. At the first bite of the cookie I wondered, “do I like it”? But within seconds it melted in my mouth, with a lovely almond flavor, simultaneously sweet and nutty, with a slight splash of citrus as an extra kick. Eat one, and you will reach for a second in no time.


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1 + 3 / 4 xícaras de farinha de amêndoas
2 xícaras de farinha de trigo
6 colheres de sopa de açúcar, divididas (4 + 2)
1 xicara de  manteiga sem sal, amolecida
1 colher de cha’ de extrato de baunilha
raspas de 1 / 2 limão grande
1 colher de cha’ de sal

açúcar de confeiteiro para polvilhar os biscoitinhos

Aqueça o forno a 180 C. Bata a manteiga com o açúcar e 4 colheres de sopa de acucar  até formar um creme claro e macio. Adicione a baunilha, continue batendo ate’ incoporar por completo.  Reduza a velocidade da batedeira e  adicione os dois tipos de farinha, o sal, as raspas de limão  e o açúcar restante (2 colheres de sopa).

Forme bolinhas com a massa, de cerca de 2,5 cm de diametro.   Coloque-os em uma assadeira forrada. Asse até dourar, aproximadamente 20 minutos. Não cozinhe demais.  Retire do forno e polvilhe generosamente com acucar de confeiteiro.  Deixe esfriar sobre uma grade.

Rende cerca de 36 biscoitinhos.


  1. Oh Sally, I do stuff like this all the time! Mostly because I can’t sleep past about 5am, so I’m always up and pottering in the kitchen early. My worst story is when I nearly sliced my hand off because I was up particularly early – 4am – and decided it would be a good idea to try and get pumpkin soup on. You can imagine what happened next – really big knife, hard pumpkin, sleepy handler…

    Your little cakes look light and perfectly delicious. Glad you made them again – never let a recipe beat you! 🙂

    PS. This is why you need chickens – they would have loved your reject cake crumbs! 🙂


    • Celia, I considered giving my previous failure to the dogs, but believe me, they are chubby enough without the indulgence… 😉

      Butternut squash, pumpkin…. those are dangerous things, not a good match for Sally even wide awake!


    • @Abby and Lisa…. great to know I am not alone in my mishaps in the kitchen. I tend to do stuff like this on a regular basis. Very irritating, but now I’ve learned to accept it as part of the game, and end up laughing at myself…


  2. Oh Sally, you made me laugh with this post. I’m glad the second attempt was a success. I like the addition of lemon zest. The look perfect little orbs of sweetness.


  3. I can so relate…sometimes you just have to put your hands up and back out of the kitchen..this can prove to be a life saving tactic!


  4. @lifeinarecipe & Anne Marie: back out of the kitchen is a good way to put it… 🙂

    as to the number of flours I have, you made me curious, I will have to make a list and check it out (I confess to being a little afraid of the answer)

    Once I was surprised by the number of bottles of vinegar I own. I am sure flour surpasses vinegar by a long shot!


  5. They look a bit like Celia’s amaretti! Yum. Did I tell you the story of the time B was left making a dough because something happened and I had to go out. I came back to find he had ground cardamons in their pods and added any flour he could find to the dough without looking at the labels and mixed it all up, pounds and pounds of dough. I picked out as many bits of green cardamon shell as I could, and tried to be restrained in my comments. And the dough came out fine for all that. Sometimes you win… 🙂


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