- Use a pastry blender or stand mixer to cut the butter into the flour.
- In another bowl, blend the egg yolks, water and white vinegar. (Be sure to reserve the egg whites for the filling.)
- Add the wet ingredients to the flour mixture and mix only until it holds together. The key to a flaky pastry is light handling. The more you move the dough, the tougher it will become.
- Refrigerate. (The dough will hold overnight if you need it to wait.)
- Whip the 4 egg whites into a meringue (I use my stand mixer).
- Add the cream of tartar, sugar, and almond extract.
- Mix well.
- Fold in the ground . (I use my food processor to grind them fairly finely.)
- Note: If you kept the dough overnight, keep the egg whites in the fridge too, but mix up the filling when you’re ready to bake. Let the dough sit at room temp 30 minutes if it was chilled overnight.
- Building the Cookies:
- Divide both the dough and filling into 8 equal sections.
- Roll one piece of dough at a time on a lightly powdered sugared surface into a huge circle. This, by the way, can end up adding a decent amount of powdered sugar to the dough, which allows you to cut down on the sugar in the filling. If you use flour to roll, do NOT cut down the sugar in the filling.
- Spread with one part of the filling. Cut into ~12 equal wedges.
- Roll from edge to center.
- Bake on a cookie sheet 22-26 minutes at 350 degrees F.
- Hint: Bake two trays at a time by baking for 12 minutes, then switching top and bottom rack for 12 more.
- Sprinkle with powdered sugar (through a metal sieve) while cooling on racks.
I find that it’s most efficient to bake one pan on the uppermost rack, one on the very bottom, and switch them halfway through.
They freeze great! Just don’t freeze in bags because they will fall apart. Stiff boxes.