I like a thin, crisp, not too sweet, sliced almond filled cookie to dip in my coffee especially on the days when I’m craving something sweet but not too rich.  We’re still in January, the month of trying to eat lighter after  the indulgences around the holidays in December.  February signals the official return to chocolate and by March we’re back to normal eating, hopefully.  I try to stay off the scale and  judge my weight by how my pants fit.  I really think that’s the best way to keep weight off because there is nothing that feels worse than tight pants except having to put on a bathing suit in the month of December.  In any month of the year almonds toasting in the oven smell wonderful in the house.  I always throw a few extra in the pan to toss in a salad or vegetables for dinner. I feel thankful for all my blessings and when I display my toasted almonds in a pretty bowl before mixing them into the cookie batter I feel a deep sense of satisfaction and pride.  That’s why

The enjoyment that comes from tossing the fragrant toasted almonds into a thick cookie batter makes mixing the ingredients together in this recipe a pleasure.  I love a good cookie recipe that can be made in one bowl without a mixer.  Because these cookies are sliced so thin you can dip a few in your coffee guilt free.  I shared
a few with my husband at the office then he took the bag to his desk but I kept another bag for myself because the recipe makes 4 dozen, enough to share and keep a stash for yourself.

The cookie dough is baked in a loaf pan where it forms a weird lumpy cake.  Don’t worry, this is normal!  The weird lumpy cake gets sliced super thin, as thin as you can before the slices are baked for the second time.  And from this weird lumpy cake comes the most delicious thin crispy cookies.

Ingredients and Directions for Mandel-Melbas
From Home Baking by Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid

4 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1&1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
1 cup whole almonds, toasted

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees

Grease a 9×5 bread pan and dust with flour.

Beat the eggs and sugar together in a medium bowl until well blended.  Stir in the flour until the batter is smooth.  Add the extract and almonds to the batter.  Stir until well blended.  The batter will be thick and sticky.  Pour or spoon the batter into the prepared pan and smooth down the top with a spatula.

Bake for 40 minutes or until slightly browned and pulling away from the sides of the pan.  It will look like a weird lumpy cake that didn’t rise.  Let stand in the pan until slightly cooled, about 15 minutes, then remove and cool on a rack.

Place the cake in the freezer, wrapped in plastic for about 40 minutes, firming the cake up to make slicing cookies  easier.

Meanwhile preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

Slice the chilled loaf as thin as you can, getting about 6 slices per inch.  Place the slices on a baking sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes.  Take out when slightly brown.  Let stand over night to cool and crisp up.  Store in a well sealed container.

Makes about 4 dozen thin crisp cookies

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  1. I am SO making these! They look delicious! I just had a cup of tea and one of these would have gone perfectly:)

  2. Hi Patty,

    My Dad is a big almond fan. He likes to roast his own almonds enjoys them hot, right out of the oven. This would be the perfect recipe to make for him. He always has a cup of coffee in the morning so this would go great with his coffee. I love the simplicity of this recipe, and the short list of ingredients. These sound wonderful, Patty. Hope you're enjoying your weekend (maybe with your adorable grandsons?)

  3. I'd love to have these to dunk in my morning coffee! These sound wonderful. :)

  4. Ah, someone else who judges their weight by how their clothes fit and not by the scale. I think that's the perfect way. However, we've been going to the gym on a regular basis and it's tempting to check the scale for progress……

    Lovely little melbas.

  5. A wonderful recipe! I love such biscotti.

    I never wigh myself. My clothes are the ones which tell me if I have put on afew kilos or not…



  6. Yum. These would make a great mid afternoon treat.
    I'm not a fan of scales either, but I haven't found a good way to keep track without one. The problem with the pant fit method is that it's so easy to just go out and buy new pants.

  7. These definitely sound fantastic! I like that they are a lighter cookie :)

  8. Those look really delicious :) Worth a calorie indulgence.
    I hope you are having a lovely 2011 so far :)

  9. Patty they sounds sensational. My hubby would be all about these little beauties!

  10. I love these! I prefer not to sweet and thin biscuit types too…and these are perfect :)

  11. What an interesting recipe. Looks so good! I also like your new header – very colorful!

  12. I'm sipping on a cup of tea right now and I'm imaging how perfect one of these melbas would be. Like you, I often crave something slightly sweet to go along with my morning brew. I love toasted almonds, and hearing you talk about them is making me want to toast some of my own. Thank you so much for sharing your recipe and pictures with me today. I hope you are having a happy day!

  13. I'm with you about something not too sweet and not too rich! Okay, I will help pass on the love for almond haha. I watch my weight by how tight the pants are too! As long as I can fit in an old pants, I'm all good. This sounds wonderful and easy (which motivates me to bake!).

  14. LOL Patty – I couldn't get through the first paragraph without guffawing! I think tight pants are the bane of most food bloggers lives :D I know I live in fear of them *sigh*

    I adore almonds and LOVE that there is no additional fat in this recipe. My favourite biscotti are the ones with only chunks and chunks of almond, so these very pretty cookies are a shoo-in ;)

  15. Patty, this almond treats look great, love them crunchy…so yummie…and the photos are awesome :-)

  16. Who doesn't love almonds?! I must try this recipe a try as those melbas look wonderfully crisp and delicious!
    oh…I have already given up feeling depressed whenever I tried some of my old jeans and pants…sighs…

  17. These sound delicious, my daughter would absolutely love them as she is a huge fan of almonds!

  18. These look and sound wonderful! It is nice to have a little treat with that cup of tea or coffeee. You crack me up with your “analysis” on the way we up. I absolutely agree with you that by March, we are our happy selves again :)

  19. I'm totally feeling the love :) The recipe is so easy, and nutritious with the almonds. Not a big sweets person – so I would love these year-round!

  20. Ohh…Patty…what a wonderful technique for making thinner biscotti. Sure beats laboring over making logs. I'm so excited about this that I'm sending your recipe to a friend that makes me Mandel cookies all the time…she'll be surprised for sure!
    Btw…after 20 years+…I finally caved and bought myself a scale. I did promise myself not to weigh in more than once a week…my pants will do the rest. LOL

    Ciao for now,

  21. this would go perfect with my coffee… and i am such an addict:) thanks for sharing this

  22. Patty that is also my favorite thing to do with cookies, dip them in my tea with milk. Your cookies remind me of biscotti but they look like they would taste better and no danger of breaking any teeth. I have to try these they sound so delicious and I'm really on an almond kick lately:) Yes tight pants suck, but that is less scary than getting on the scale.

  23. i love almonds and these melbas sound so good. i'll be all over them dipping them in a cold glass of milk. oh my, i better behave myself it's almost 11 at night :))

    thanks for sharing, hope you'll have a wonderful day

  24. I just wonder if I can stopping eating. Looks fun and delicious to eat. I love dipping biscuits and bread into my drink! That what we did when we were young. Habits die hard…haha

  25. What a wonderful take on an old world favorite. They sound delicious and I'd love to have one with my coffee. I hope you have a great day. Blessings…Mary

  26. I think you nailed it describing how Jan, Feb and March go in regards to how we feel when eating. It's rewarding to have your jeans fit and discouraging when they're a little too snug. :)

    It would be a true loss to have a nut allergy, because I adore nuts, roasting them, including more than is listed in ingredients in baked goods, using them in salads and just nibbling on them raw. I like these biscuits you've shared – they look like a kind of biscotti perfect w/tea and coffee.

  27. Hi Patty,

    Your cookies are perfect for me, now if I don't eat too many..I never thought February meant back to chocolate! Well, today I went to the sales, and I was happy to see I could ask the salesgirl for a smaller size in pants!!
    I merit 5 of your cookies for my gym effort !! ;D

  28. Patty; thanks for visiting my blog again; I was not very active for past few months – too much work and other things; as you come from San Francisco, probably you have the access to much, much better Japanese food that here in Paris; I visited SF in nineties, I visited its Chinatown and some Japanese restaurants – and I cannot forget how tasty it was. However, I am happy that here, in Paris, thanks to Japanese community, I can enjoy sth more than just susi. Best regards.

  29. Hi Patty,
    These cookies would get a lot of love in our home. We're addicted to almonds and always have a bowl of them on the kitchen table. I would love to try this sometime. I think my husband will love me even more for it. :-)

  30. These sound great – but alas, I don't think anything is going to help me get my pants on!!!

  31. well I know I would love this and like Mary, I don't know if I could stop eating them… hey, glad your son got a taste of our seafood, or at least I hope it was, depends on where he ate and I am glad he had a great time in Mobile, we sure do enjoy having all the NFL folks here for the game along with such outstanding players looking to be drafted…

  32. Oh, Patty! This is such a cool recipe. I love how the whole almond goes in, so that you get those cool slices right in the middle of the melba. That's too nice. I might have to try this…!
    p.s. Thanks for checking in on me. That made me feel good;)

  33. Patty ,this is exciting , i loveee thin and crispy too , infact anything in a crispy cookie!
    These look beautiful and i lovee how they are baked and rebaked :-)
    THis one is bookmarked for sure :-) and thannxx a ton for stopping by!

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