Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Almond Delights

Sometimes the recipes I share are ones that my mother made, but like today, sometimes they're inspired by her.  Jordan almonds are a confectionery that my mother dearly loved.  I remember them at every special event we had and moreover, I remember when we were just out shopping and she spied a candy store, it was one of her purchases.  My daughters knew this to be true and even when we moved away to California, if we saw Jordan almonds, they'd suggest we buy some to remember Grandma.

Interestingly, the almond is not a true nut, but a drupe, consisting of an outer hull and hard shell with a seed inside.  It is related to the peach tree and is native to the Middle East and South Asia.  Jordan almonds, which originated in Italy, are a sugar coated confectionery in pastel colors.
It is traditional at weddings and given as favors in groups of five--the combination of bitter almonds and the sweet sugar prompted this poem:

Five sugared almonds for each guest to eat,
To remind us that life is both bitter and sweet.
Five wishes for the new husband and wife--
Health, wealth, happiness, children, and a long life! 

Almond Delights
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup almond paste
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
3/4 tsp. Pure Almond extract
1 tsp. Vanilla extract
1 cup almond flour (I grind my own, but you can purchase almond flour) 
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
3 cups King Arthur all-purpose flour
1 cup chopped almonds
1 cup bittersweet (semi-sweet) chocolate bits

Preheat oven to 350F-degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a stand mixer, using a paddle attachment, cream the butter and almond paste thoroughly.  Add the sugars and beat to combine.  Add the extracts and mix again.  Add the dry ingredients and mix until combined.  Stir in the chopped almonds and bittersweet chocolate bits.
Use a 2-inch scoop to measure out the cookie dough onto the prepared baking sheet. Use your finger tips to press down the dough, slightly.  Bake for 13 to 15 minutes until golden brown around the edges.  Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes before transferring cookies to a rack to cool completely.

I remember five almonds tied in tulle at my wedding for favors.

Today, as I made up this recipe using almonds, I thought about my mother and Kelly

--life can be bitter, but the memories are sweet and I hold tightly to the memories.  Enjoy! 


  1. your last sentence pulled on my heart strings. xx.

  2. Life sure can be bittersweet.....oh so true. Having the memories of time spent together is a wonderful thing to hold in our hearts. Wonderful post Susan! I will be trying out this recipe in the future......yum love almond!

  3. Loved this post. Your wedding photo is beautiful. Memories can make our hearts ache as beautiful as they are to have.

  4. Susan! I have missed you! I think of you so often, and have missed your kind energy! I'm sorry I don't see you at Ellen's anymore :(

  5. Cathy, I miss seeing you too! but I know you're working towards a profession that is really rewarding. Call me anytime when you have time off!

  6. We are blessed with so many beautiful memories. Thank you for sharing the photos. I had never seen that one of Mom holdng Kelly. I'm sure no one will be surprised when I tell that you made your lovely wedding dress. The Almond Delights look delicious---love, love, love almonds!!!