Almonds appear regularly in Sardinian cooking. Nuts are a staple in all blue zones regions, and almonds are associated with losing weight, increasing good cholesterol, and lowering blood pressure. These traditional almond cookies – goeffus, as they are called in Ogliastra, one of the villages in the Sardinian blue zones region—are simple to make and taste delicious flavored with fresh lemon zest.
6 cups almonds, blanched and peeled
2⁄3 cup sugar, divided
3 tablespoons orange flower water
Zest of 1 whole lemon
In a 300-degree oven, toast almonds for 10 minutes.
In a food processor or high-powered blender, process almonds until they reach the consistency of coarse almond flour.
In a sauce pot, combine 1⁄2 cup sugar and orange flower water.
Heat over very low heat until the syrup becomes thick.
Add the almond flour into the syrup, mixing to combine over heat for a cou- ple minutes.
Turn off heat and add lemon zest, mixing to combine.
When cool enough to handle, roll dough into walnut-size balls with hands.
Roll the balls in remaining sugar.
Let almond balls dry completely and wrap in tissue paper, twirling the sides like candy wrappers.
Keep in glass jars or another covered container.
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