Mary Kay Radnich
June is the month for weddings here in the US and if you are asked to make cookies for one of the many parties associated with wedding preparations, then try Almond Bracelets if you want to serve something a little out of the ordinary.
Almond Bracelets are a favorite at engagement and wedding parties in the Middle East, as well as during the traditional ritual bath of the bride. This custom is still common in rural areas, where the female relatives assess the brides potential to be a good wife and bear children easily. The bride-to-be listens to this commentary (hopefully positive) while she bathes in scented water and while trays laden with sweets are passed around for everyone to enjoy.
* 5 cups of almonds, ground
* 2 cups of confectioners sugar
* Mix almonds and sugar together.
* White of 1 small egg, stiffly beaten, added to the almond/sugar mix.
Add just enough orange blossom water to make a firm, dryish paste.
Knead the paste well and roll into thin sausages about 5 inches long. Bring the ends together forming bracelets the size of a small napkin ring. Decorate with a few blanched almonds if desired. On a cookie sheet lined with baking parchment, arrange the bracelets.
Bake in a preheated 400F oven for 10 minutes. DO NOT allow the bracelets to color or brown, otherwise the taste will change. Remove carefully from the sheet once they have cooled.
Source: The New Book of Middle Eastern Cooking by Claudia Roden, Knopf, NY NY 2000