This traditional German cookie, called Mandelhörnchen, gets its name from its horseshoe-shape. It is moist and chewy on the inside with a crunchy almond texture on the outside. Traditionally, the cookies are quite large and the ends are dipped in chocolate but I prefer my cookies a bit smaller and plain.
(Optional) 125 grams (4.4 ounces or ¾ cup) bittersweet chocolate (60-64% cacao), chopped or broken into pieces
Preheat oven to 175C (350F).
Line baking sheet with parchment and set aside.
Measure all ingredients.
Place almond paste, sugar, egg white and salt in a food processor. Pulse on and off until mixture is smooth and creamy – it will be sticky. Be careful not to get the mixture too hot as the egg white may coagulate.
Refrigerate dough for 1 hour to stiffen and make it easier to work with.
When ready to assemble, place sliced almonds in a shallow bowl. Fill another bowl with water to wet your hands to be able to work with the soft dough.
Roll a tablespoon of dough between your wet palms until it is a 10 cm / 4 in log. Roll the log in the sliced almonds and then carefully place on the prepared baking sheet, shaping it into a horseshoe. Press any loose almonds back onto the cookie. Repeat with remaining dough, making sure to wet your hands before rolling the soft dough for each cookie.
Bake cookies for 12-15 minutes, or until almonds are gently toasted and the cookies is golden brown. Let cool completely.
If you want chocolate dipped cookies, place the chocolate in a small bowl and melt over a bain-marie or a pot of simmering water. When the mixture is melted halfway, remove from the heat and stir to finish melting the ingredients. Dip the cookie ends into the chocolate and then return to parchment-lined tray to set, for about 1 hour.
Store cookies in an airtight container for up to a week.