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I’ve been dying to bake these cookies since my friend Pat posted the recipe for me last fall. At first glance, I knew I’d love them: soft, almond-y cookies made in a bakery? Game on!

But the original recipeĀ from Leite’s Culinaria calls for shaping the dough into little pyramids. I made six or seven pathetic pyramids and baked them. First, it’s a tough shape to master with this particular dough, since it’s not at all firm.

See how moist the dough is?

See how moist the dough is?

Second, though I measured with a tablespoon, I don’t think my pyramids baked all the way through. In fact, after that, I gave up on pyramids.

One of my pathetic, PITA pyramids...not proud!

One of my sad pyramids before baking

Instead, I grabbed my smallest cookie scoop and began making balls! So much easier.

So, lesson learned:
Pyramids are a PITA. šŸ˜‰
Balls are the best. And that’s how we roll here in Katty’s Kitchen.

Oh, we also roll with a little salt in our sweets (added a pinch) and really, you only need 1 cup of slivered almonds to roll the balls. I also added several more minutes to the original baking time. Ready to roll?

ALMOND BALLS
adapted from Rosa’s Almond Biscotti, Leite’s Culinaria

2 1/3 cups almond meal
1 cup superfine sugar (if you donā€™t have superfine sugar, you can buzz up granulated sugar in a blender or food processor till extra-finely ground but not powdery)
3 large egg whites
grated zest of 1 orange, preferably organic
2 teaspoons almond extract
1 cup sliced almonds
a good pinch of salt

Preheat the oven to 350Ā°F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Combine the almond flour, sugar, salt, egg whites, orange zest and almond extract in a bowl, stir well to combine.

Place the sliced almonds in a separate bowl or shallow dish.

Using a small cookie scoop (I used my pink Zeroll #60 Universal EZ Disher–.53 oz. capacity, or 1.06 tablespoons), roll the dough into ball, then roll the ball in the almonds. Since the almonds are sliced, they weren’t too conducive to just “rolling on,” so I wound up pressingĀ  some of them into the exposed dough.

Balls are betta!

Balls are betta–here’s the before baking picture!

Bake for 16-18 minutes till lightly golden. Let cool.

And after! Mmmmm!

And after! Mmmmm!

You can store the almond balls in an airtight container for several days. The original recipe calls for sprinkling confectioner’s sugar over the top, but guess what? These are perfect little sweet treats just the way they are–naked, as I intended them. HA HA!

Why not go green with a tasty ABC smoothie: almond, banana, coconut…and kale! I know it sounds bizarre, but one of my nice neighbors brought this smoothie to me for lunch one day. Kale? I don’t even like kale in and of itself, but it’s a lovely secret ingredient–doesn’t add any particular taste, just the goodness of fresh, leafy greens. It tasted great and kept me full till dinner.

These smoothies sell for $7 down at our local farmers’ market. SEVEN DOLLARS? How hard could it be to replicate at home? Not hard at all if you have a blender–so let’s shake it up!

ABC SMOOTHIE: ALMOND, BANANA, COCONUT…AND KALE!
adapted from The New York Times

1 banana, sliced and frozen
2/3 cup milk
1 tablespoon sliced almonds
1 tablespoon flaxseeds
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon coconut
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1 stalk kale, ripped up into smaller pieces

Ready for how easy as ABC this is? Add all ingredients to your blender, put on the lid and blend! Serve with a bendy straw for additional fun and satisfaction.

See, Kermit the Frog was wrong. It IS that easy being green after all.