Almond and Orange Croquants

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almond and orange cookies

Croquants are crispy French almond cookies, normally very sweet and merengue-based. I found a recipe for ones that are similar in shape and texture to biscotti on the blog that inspired me to start this one. If you like biscotti, check out these almond ones. These croquants are not too sweet, with almonds that are well toasted and only 1 1/2 cups of sugar to 4 cups flour. If you don’t have while whole wheat flour, just use 4 cups of all-purpose.

  • Duration
  • Cook Time
  • Prep Time
  • 4 dozenServings

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces whole raw almonds (approximately 2 1/2 cups)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (or use a scale to measure out 250 grams flour)
  • 2 cups white whole wheat flour (or use a scale to measure out 250 grams flour)
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoon orange blossom water
  • 1 orange for zest
  • Approximately 1/2 cup cold water
  • Sugar in the raw ( also called “turbinado” or “demerara”) and fleur de sel (or kosher salt), optional

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

2. Spread almonds in a single layer on a cookie sheets. Toast in the oven for about 15 minutes. They’re ready when the scent of almonds wafts over from the kitchen. When taken out of the oven, the inside should  be light brown and the skins should start to crackle as the nuts cool.

3. In a large mixing bowl, combine flours, sugar, and salt (I used my stand mixer). Add eggs one at a time.

4. Add orange blossom water and orange zest and incorporate into mixture. At this point, the mixture will be very crumbly and will not yet come together. 

5. Add the cold water, 2 tablespoons at a time, and mix until the dough comes together. Gently stir in cooled almonds.

6. Cover a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Shape the dough into 2 or 3 long loaves on the parchment. The dough will be sticky – just go with it. I typically make the logs about 3 inches wide. You can make them wider, but make sure to leave enough room between the two loaves to allow them to spread without touching.

7. Wet your hands and slide them over the loaves to smooth out the sticky dough. Sprinkle lightly with kosher salt and sugar in the raw.

8. Bake the loaves for 30-40 minutes. I set my timer for 30 minutes and then check the loaves every few minutes . They are ready when the dough sets and turns golden brown.

9. Remove loaves from parchment (they should come off pretty easily) and cool for 5-10 minutes. If you let them cool for too long, they’ll be too hard to slice.

10. Lower oven temperature to 225ºF.

11. Slice the still-warm loaves diagonally into skinny slices, about 1-2 cm (or 1/2 inch) wide, then lay the slices on a cooling rack and place the rack in the oven. This will allow the croquants to crisp evenly. 

12. Bake again for 20-25 minutes.

13. Let the cookies cool and then store in an airtight tin. You can always crisp them up a bit on low heat in a toaster oven.