• Ingredients: 29
  • Serves: 3

Italian almond cookies with blanched whole almonds , plus 15 for garnishing, sugar, large egg whites, at room temperature, salt, pure almond extract, pure vanilla extract, glacéed cherries.


  • 2 1/4 cups blanched whole almonds , plus 15 for garnishing
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 large egg whites, at room temperature
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pure almond extract
  • 1/4 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 15 glacéed cherries


  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tbsps. sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2–inch cubes
  • 3 tbsps. ice water
  • 1 1/2 tsps. cider vinegar


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tbsp. honey
  • 5 tbsps. unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 8 small quinces , peeled, each cut into 1–inch–wide wedges, cored

Colored flower frosting

  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter , at room temperature
  • 1 tbsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp. whole milk
  • 48 oz. confectioners’ sugar
  • 4 different shades of food coloring


  • *Brown, star–shaped seedpods; available in the spice section of some supermarkets, at specialty foods stores, and at Asian markets.
  • **A spice blend that usually contains ground aniseed, cinnamon, star anise, cloves, or ginger; available in the spice section of most supermarkets.

Chocolate bark:

  • *Available in the baking section of most supermarkets and at specialty foods stores.
  • **Italian cream cheese; available at many supermarkets and Italian markets.


  • Special equipment: A 9-inch springform pan; a small offset metal spatula


  1. Step 1 Arrange racks in upper and lower thirds of oven and preheat to 350°F. Lightly oil 2 large baking sheets, then line with parchment paper.
  2. Step 2 In food processor, combine 2 1/4 cups almonds and 1/3 cup sugar. Process until finely ground, scraping down sides once or twice.

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  3. Step 3 In electric mixer fitted with whisk attachment, beat egg whites and salt at high speed until soft peaks form.

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  4. Step 4 Reduce speed to medium and gradually sprinkle in remaining 1/3 cup sugar. Return speed to high and beat mixture until stiff, shiny peaks form.

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  5. Step 5 Roll mixture into 1-inch balls, place 2 inches apart on baking sheets, and flatten slightly. Top each with glacéed cherry or almond.

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  6. Step 6 Bake until cookies are golden, switching positions of pans halfway through, about 25 minutes. Cool on sheets 5 minutes, then transfer to racks to cool completely.