Almond Pralines

Also called, in French, Langues de Chat, or Cat’s Tongues. From Snowvillage Inn, North Conway, NH.

For praline:


1 cup sugar
1/2 cup sliced and toasted almonds (with skin)


Place a large sheet of foil on a heatproof work surface. Heat sugar in a heavy skillet over medium heat, stirring constantly until it starts to melt. Then continue cooking, swirling skillet occasionally so sugar melts evenly, until it is golden. Add toasted almonds, stirring until coated well. Pour mixture onto foil, allowing it to spread. Cool completely (about 15 minutes). Peel praline off foil and chop into pieces then place in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped.

For cookies:


1-1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup sliced almonds (with skin)
1 cup sugar
1-1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
5 large egg whites
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon almond extract
flaky sea salt
pastry bag with 3/8-inch plain tip


Preheat oven to 325 degrees with racks in upper and lower thirds. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Whisk together flour and table salt. Combine almonds and sugar in a food processor and pulse until finely ground. Beat butter and sugar mixture with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy, then beat in egg whites and extracts. At low speed, mix in flour mixture in batches until just combined. Transfer batter to pastry bag. Pipe 6-inch strips (about ⅓ inch wide) 1-½ inches apart in 2 rows on baking sheets. Bake until slightly puffed but still pale, 7 to 9 minutes, then sprinkle generously with praline and lightly with sea salt. Continue baking until cookies are baked through and golden-brown on edges, another 7 to 11 minutes more. Cool completely on parchment paper on wire rack.

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