Slightly sweet almond-studded cookies go by many names along the Mediterranean: biscotti in Italy, carquinyolis in Catalonia. Often meant to be soaked in coffee or sweet wine, they can be bland and hard as rocks.
We found a solution in Daniel Olivella’s “Catalan Food.” His recipe for carquinyolis breaks with tradition in two important ways. Typically, the rolled dough is baked in logs, then sliced and baked again until crunchy. Olivella, however, slices the dough and bakes it only once, which not only saves time but also ensures a crunchy cookie with a chewy interior. He also uses marzipan for extra almond flavor.
At Milk Street, we opted for almond paste, which offered even more pure almond taste than marzipan. Lemon zest brightened the cookie, and vanilla extract reinforced the almonds’ fruitiness. An extra egg white gave us a lighter, crispier crumb and slightly more chew. We used a food processor to evenly spread the almond paste throughout the dough, which we sliced and baked only once. The result was a delicious cookie, full of almond flavor with a little crunch—eminently dippable, but no soaking required.