Cute and delicious – these little Almond Bear Paws will be the highlight on your Christmas cookie plate!
5 medium egg whites (about 5.3 oz.)
1 pinch of salt
10 oz. (300g) confectioner’s sugar
1 tsp. lemon juice
17–21 oz. (400-600g) ground almonds
1 tbsp. vanilla sugar
1. Preheat the oven to 300˚F (150°C). Line several baking sheets with baking parchment and set aside.
2. To make the meringue whisk the egg whites with a pinch of salt in a large bowl until stiff peaks form. Sift the confectioners’ sugar on top, add the lemon juice and mix (first slowly then increase the speed) until the meringue is fluffy and has a glossy shine – about 4-5 minutes. Transfer 4-5 tablespoons of the meringue to a piping bag and set aside in the fridge until needed.
3. Mix about 17 oz. of the ground almonds with the vanilla sugar. Add to the bowl with the meringue – fold in to distribute the ground almonds evenly. You will get a very sticky dough – actually more of a sticky mess than a dough. The mixture should not be too soft though – add more and fold in until it looks like a dough you can work with. The amount of ground almonds you have to add can vary quite a bit. Chilling the dough for about 30-60 minutes makes it easier to work with.
4. Roll out half of the dough between two layers of plastic wrap to a thickness of 0.2 inches (5mm) – keep the rest of the dough in the fridge. Use a paw cookie cutter* to cut out small bear paws and transfer to the prepared baking sheets. Clean the cookie cutter from time to time with warm water to remove sticky dough. Cut off the tip of the piping bag and pipe the fingertips of the paws with the meringue on top of the cookies. Bake for 23-25 minutes. To make sure the white parts of the paws stay white, place an empty baking sheet on the highest rack of the oven. Let the cookies cool on a wire rack and store them in a tin box without other cookies in a cool place. Repeat with the remaining dough and meringue.
Keywords: bear paws, almond, cookies, Christmas, xmas, Advent