2 cups sugar
2 cans (8 ounce) almond paste
¼ teaspoon salt
4 large egg whites, divided (save yolks for another use)
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
Salt and powdered sugar (about ¾ cup), for garnish
Heat oven to 325. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or lightly grease.
In stand mixer with paddle attachment, combine sugar, almond paste and salt on lowest speed until mixture forms fine crumbs. Alternatively, use hand mixer on lowest speed.
Scrape bowl well. Pour in egg whites one at a time; continue to mix on low speed as paste begins to form. Add vanilla extract and mix 15 seconds to combine. Scrape bowl again.
Scoop the dough by tablespoons 2 inches apart on pans. (I use a 1½ inch diameter scoop or disher for this sticky dough.)
Sift powdered sugar over each cookie, generously covering. Sprinkle salt over each cookie. Bake 22--25 minutes for slightly chewy texture. For ultra chewiness, bake 28--30 minutes, until cookies have puffed, crisped and are golden brown. Cool on pan 5 minutes before moving to rack. Store covered at room temperature.
Makes four dozen.
Baker's hint: Almond extract can be substituted for the vanilla.
Nutrition values per cookie: 82 calories, 3 g fat (trace amount saturated), 14 g carbohydrates, trace amount fiber, 1 g protein, 0 cholesterol, 39 mg sodium.