This traditional French sweet has a marzipan-ish quality and is typically made with candied fruit paste and ground almonds. Pastry chef Allen Morter offers a slight variation, which in his words is “a lovely mix of Provencal and New England.” The treats are topped with a hard white icing for a glazed, shiny finish making them an elegant addition to your holiday cookie swap.
- 1/2 cup dried figs
- 7/10 cup almond flour
- 1/4 cup egg whites
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- Zest from 1 orange
- 2/5 cup egg whites
- 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- Place the dried figs, almond flour, and egg whites in a food processor. Blend to form a chunky paste.
- Cook sugar on the stovetop with enough water to cover until 248 degrees Fahrenheit, and add to food processor while machine is on. Continue to mix until a smooth dough is achieved.
- Roll dough between two pieces of parchment paper to half inch thickness.
- Cut the dough to desired shape with a knife or small cookie cutter. (Chef's note: I do a diamond shape as a nod to the traditional almond shape.)
- Let dough sit at room temperature for an hour.
- Place egg whites in a mixing bowl, and mix on low speed with a whisk attachment until the egg whites begins to break up.
- Add the cream of tartar and continue mixing on low speed until whites become frothy.
- Gradually add the powdered sugar and continue to mix until icing holds a peak and is dull in appearance.
- Heat oven to 220-225 degrees Fahrenheit, or lowest setting oven will allow.
- Dip calisson cookie dough in the royal icing to coat and set on a baking sheet.
- Bake calisson for 5-10 minutes to firm the royal icing.
- Cool before consuming.