Grain-free Italian Almond Cookies

Well, after completing a Whole 30 during the month of January, I completely fell off the wagon during February. Not a little slip. A full blown fall in the mud and roll around in it. I'm struggling to get up, but not really. I think I may wallow here a little longer.

First my hubby and I had to celebrate Valentines Day with burgers and beer at Bistro Blanc. If you have yet to taste their local, grassfed beef burgers, you might want to rush right over there. Not to mention the rosemary parmesan fries. Everything is made in house, including the breads and even the pickles! Chef Janny Kim is a stand out.

From there, I was invited to join my friends Michelle, Patti, and Alice for a day of ravioli making. Yes, a full day-- 9am to 6pm including lunch-- and I came home with 4 kinds of fresh ravioli plus fettuccine! So I've had some form of homemade pasta every day since! Last night I made the ultimate in comfort food: fresh fettuccine with tomato vodka sauce and meatballs. And that's not all I made.

Yesterday was my lowest point so far.

Before cooking my comfort food dinner, I baked Italian almond macaroons. I was trying to replicate a delicious cookie Michelle shared with us during our pasta making party. My recipe does not quite match the chewy softness of hers, but these are still yummy.


3 large egg whites
1 and 1/2 cups white sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons almond extract
16 oz. (1 lb.) almond meal (Trader Joe's carries this.)
1/2 cup sliced almonds

In a large bowl, whisk egg whites until foamy. Beat in salt, sugar, and almond extract. Stir in almond meal. You will have a very thick, dense dough. Chill for 2 hours in fridge. Preheat oven to 300F. Roll tablespoonfuls of dough into round balls or crescent shapes. Dip each cookie into sliced almonds. Bake on parchment or silpat sheets for 20-30 minutes. After 20 minutes, cookies will still be soft and chewy in center. After 30 minutes, cookies will be harder and similar to biscotti. Great for dunking in a cup of cappuccino!