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Almond Thins like Almondina

by on May 22, 2008 · 22 comments

A few months ago, I spent half a day trying to clone Almondinas – thin, sweet cookies which I can best describe as a cross between Melba toast and biscotti. They were very popular in New York in the 90’s, and are now sold all over the country in major grocery stores.

My clone was okay, but wasn’t worth the time and expense of buying the ingredients. It made more sense to just buy a pack of Almondinas and be done with it. So that’s what I did.

Last night, while trying to find a dinner recipe, I came across a recipe very similar to the one I’d been using to clone the almond cookies. Since I had a few hours before dinner, I decided to try the recipe.   A couple of hours later, I had a pretty decent clone — not exactly the same, but similar and very delicious.  These are basically biscotti, but lighter and crispier with no added fat or butter.

One thing I didn’t like about my clone is that since the almonds are already sliced, you don’t get a nice almond cross section when you cut. Next time, I will try the recipe with whole natural almonds. It me a bit more difficult to cut through them, but I think the cookies will be prettier that way.

And finally, if the only thing stopping you from making these is having to throw out 4 egg yolks, my suggestion is to make pudding. While the biscotti was cooking, I made a batch of butterscotch.

Almond Thins

Almond Thins

4 large egg whites
1/2 cup superfine sugar or sugar you’ve ground up in the processor or just plain granulated sugar (98 grams)
1/4 scant teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon almond extract (optional)
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup minus a tablespoon all purpose flour (120 grams)
5 oz bag of sliced almonds or 1 cup whole almonds and 1 cup of mixed fruit, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9×5 inch loaf pan with non-stick foil or regular foil.  If using regular foil, spray with cooking spray.

Beat the egg whites into soft peaks. Slowly add the sugar and continue beating until sugar dissolves and mixture is glossy. Beat in salt and extracts.

Fold in flour. When incorporated, fold in nuts.

Transfer the mixture to the loaf pan bake for 50 minutes (golden brown when done). Remove from oven and let cool for about a half hour.

Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. Lift loaf from pan and using a serrated knife, cut into very thin slices. Place the slices in a single layer on a large cookie sheet. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until cookies are dry.

Let cool completely.

Makes 24 to 30 depending on how good you are at slicing!

 

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Published on May 22, 2008

{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

VeggieGirl May 22, 2008 at 7:19 am

The almond-thins sound wonderful!! As does that butterscotch – yum!

Katrina Smith May 22, 2008 at 9:44 am

Something crunchy sounds good. I have never made biscotti or a cookie like this. Are they TOO hard when you don’t drink coffee, so there is no dipping?

The Yeast Levains are pretty good today! Gave most away. So I’m glad to know when the boys teachers get them today they will still be good.

Jan Harris May 22, 2008 at 10:21 am

Or you could use a product such as “All Whites” which is a liquid egg white product and then you wouldn’t have to even think about yolks. The recipe sounds very good, I’m going to try it. Any tips on slicing them Anna?

Anna May 22, 2008 at 10:23 am

Jan, do All Whites whip up nicely? I vaguely remember using them in something whipped, but can’t quite remember.

Slicing wasn’t too difficult. I used a serrated knife and kind of sawed.

judi0044 May 22, 2008 at 1:52 pm

I have some All Whites and some sliced (only) almonds which I need to use. So as usual your recipe works great for me. Will see how well it works out. I’ve made regular biscotti before and they’ve always turned out well.

Jan Harris May 22, 2008 at 2:17 pm

Anna; I called their 800 #, it says on the carton not suitable for angel food or meringue. They said these will whip but not hold stiff peaks. So, I guess they won’t work for sure, but I think I’ll try anyway, just as an experiment. Unless Judi posts back with her results first.

judi0044 May 22, 2008 at 2:50 pm

Jan – I’m letting mine sit out for a bit before I try. Was afraid they’d be too chilly to whip up. So it’ll be a bit before I experiment. I’m sitting down with a cup of coffee and a slice of bread just out of the oven first. :)

Jan Harris May 22, 2008 at 3:15 pm

Yeah, I’d let them come up to room temp before i’d try to whip.

Good luck and I’ll be watching to read about the results.

judi0044 May 22, 2008 at 4:39 pm

Anna & Jan –
My thoughts on the All Whites – used my turbo whip on my hand mixer and just got a tiny bit of peaks beginning but certainly not stiff (and I used a bit of Cream of Tartar). So I’d have to agree with the 800# line. They’re in the oven now and will see how they come out. I think it was harder to ‘fold’ the flour and nuts in because the egg mix was ‘thin’.

Jan Harris May 22, 2008 at 5:00 pm

Thanks 4 the update. I sure hope you didn’t waste those ingredients. Let us know how they turn out.
Thanks, Jan

Laura May 22, 2008 at 6:09 pm

I have my own clone recipe. Sometimes I use Just Whites powdered whites, which works perfectly for me. I use whole almonds and I also add raisins. I think it is easier to slice the loaf if you have refrigerated it overnight or frozen it for a couple of hours.

My recipe is based on the following:
http://www.recipecottage.com/cookies-bar/mandelbrot04.html

I have also made a whole egg version, which is called Australian Mandelbread (from Home Baking, by Alford and Duguid). It tastes eggier, but is very good.

Slicing thin and toasting evenly is really the key. Also it is better to use a narrower pan than a 9×5 to best replicate the Almondina shape.

judi0044 May 22, 2008 at 6:13 pm

Jan – the thins are in to crisp (I cut 24). They seem fine – I tasted one end of the loaf (the almond flavor came out the most). If anything they didn’t achieve full height due to the All Whites. So they are edible. :)

Anna May 22, 2008 at 6:50 pm

Judi, if these work out, I will be buying Just Whites!

Laura, thanks for the link and the GREAT tips. I was wondering how important it was to cool the cookie loaf, so your advice about refrigerating and freezing really comes in handy. I’m also glad to hear you can still slice these thinly when made with whole almonds.

Jan Harris May 22, 2008 at 8:30 pm

So does Laura mean to refrigerate or freeze the loaf after the first baking? Sometimes I get confused. Old age!

Jan Harris May 22, 2008 at 8:31 pm

Judi, thanks 4 your report. Give us a final, will you?

Anna May 22, 2008 at 8:32 pm

Jan, I think you can do either. You can refrigerated it overnight so that it gets good and cold or freeze it for a few hours to get it cold and stiff quicker.

judi0044 May 23, 2008 at 8:30 am

My husband had one before bed last night. We think they’re good but have nothing to compare them with. I like Laura’s idea of using a narrower pan if that adds height – to replicate the originals. I may stick to using my whites for omelets – however happy the ingredients weren’t wasted – a tasty treat.

Jan Harris May 23, 2008 at 10:30 am

Thank you Judi and Anna!

MamaFaMi November 4, 2008 at 2:01 am

Wow, your biscotti looks so yummilicious!

Laura July 6, 2009 at 9:10 am

I posted my comments on this recipe a year ago (see above where there is a link to the recipecottage recipe).

But now I have my own blog and I have just posted about a yummy variation on this cookie that I got from Baking Obsession.

Imagine the Almondina with pistachios, dried apricots, and a hint of cardomon….

Kim September 4, 2014 at 12:53 pm

Thank You ! Thank You ! Thank You! I have become addicted to these cookies and have been buying 4-6 packs (@$2.80/each) a week (!) at my local Trader Joe’s . I just did the first bake and they look/smell just like the Almondina’s ! Maybe even better. NOTE: I added 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon to my mix. And baked in a smaller loaf pan ~ 4″x8″

Anna September 4, 2014 at 1:17 pm

Glad you liked them, Kim! I’ve updated the recipe a bit. Here’s another version if you’re interested.
http://www.cookiemadness.net/2014/07/cranberry-white-chip-and-pecan-biscotti-thins/

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