Almond Half Moons (P, TNT)
Source: Sephardic cooking class
Yield: varies

Almond Paste:
6 oz. blanched and ground almonds
3 oz. sugar
peel of 1/2 lemon
1 tbsp. orange blossom water
1 egg yolk, if necessary

4 tbsp. oil
6 tbsp. orange blossom water
pinch of salt
1-1/2 tbsp. sugar
5 oz. flour

Blanch, skin, and grind almonds very, very fine -- can use a meat grinder [Paula's note: this was before the popularity of food processors] -- with the sugar and the lemon peel. Add the egg and work it in, then the orange blossom water.

Prepare the dough: Put the flour in a deep mixing bowl; in the middle put the oil, salt, sugar, and orange blossom water. Mix thoroughly until the dough is soft.

Form the almond paste in small crescents or half-moons.

Roll down the dough as thin as you can without breaking it. Cut it into circles of about 3-1/2".

Take each half-moon, put it in the middle of the circle and fold the circle over. Shape and seal the sides by pressing well the edges. Prick each one a few times with a pin before baking them.

Bake at 325°F or 350°F for 15 to 25 minutes. When cool, roll them in powdered sugar.

Poster's Notes: In anticipation of your question, I have no idea what "if necessary" means about the egg yolk. It's been too long since I took the course. My guess is that it's about texture/consistency and whether the mixture holds together.

Posted by Paula Miller Jacobson

Nutritional Info Per Serving: N/A