We interviewed François Payard on the eve of the publication of “Payard Cookies,” which included this gluten-free, Passover acceptable recipe.
The following is an excerpt from the book:
Gommés earned their names because they were traditionally made with gum arabic, which gave them their chewiness. I remember my father making them that way when I was young and working at his pastry shop in France. Nowadays, I use almond flour instead, but I still like using the name, especially since they still have a chewy texture. I make a lot of these around Passover since they don’t contain any flour and, because they keep for a long time, help defray last-minute holiday stress. They are also perfect if you cannot consume gluten.
2 ½ cups (250 grams) almond flour
1 ¼ cups (250 grams) granulated sugar
3 large egg whites
½ cup (85 grams) finely chopped candied orange peel
50 to 60 whole blanched almonds
Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a food processor, grind together the almond flour, sugar, egg whites and candied orange peel until the mixture is very smooth.
With a spatula, transfer the dough to a pastry bag fitted with a ½-inch star pastry tip. Pipe into 1-inch shells: Start by piping a star, then move the pastry bag to lengthen the shape into an elongated shell, decreasing the pressure on the dough to form a narrow point as you lift the pastry bag. Place a whole blanched almond on top of each cookie. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the cookies turn a light golden brown color. Remove the cookies from the oven, let them cool completely on the baking sheet or a cooling rack, then store them in an airtight container in a cool, dry place for up to 2 weeks, or freeze them, wrapped in plastic and in an airtight container, for up to 1 month (remove them from the freezer a few hours before serving to bring to room temperature).
Makes about 50 cookies
Excerpt & photo from Payard Cookies by Francois Payard. Copyright © 2015 by Francois Payard.Photography © 2015 by Rogerio Voltan. Reprinted by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.