Sour cherries, almonds join in joyful cookie

Noelle Carter
Los Angeles Times

Reader Lynn Kan can’t stop thinking about the almond sour cherry cookies from Bartavelle Coffee & Wine Bar.

Chef and owner Suzanne Drexhage was happy to share the recipe, noting that it — or one very similar — came from a very dear friend many years ago. She writes, “It’s long been a favorite at home, and is a favorite now at Bartavelle.” Enjoy, Lynn. Now you can have a taste of the Bay Area here at home.

Bartavelle’s Almond Sour Cherry Cookies

Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes.

Yield: About 21/2 dozen cookies

About 30 dried sour cherries

1 pound blanched almonds

2 cups sugar, preferably organic

3 egg whites

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Pinch sea salt

Soak the cherries in hot water to soften. Drain and squeeze out the excess water.

Using a food processor, grind together the almonds and sugar to a fine, flour-like consistency. Add the egg whites, almond extract and salt, and pulse until the mixture comes together. Cover and chill the dough. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 325 degrees.

Use a small scoop or large spoon to portion the dough into 1-ounce (2 tablespoons) balls. Poke a hole in each and insert 1 cherry, then roll to make a smooth, round ball.

Space the cookies about 2 inches apart on a parchment- or Silpat-lined baking sheet and flatten each ball slightly.

Bake the cookies until lightly colored, about 20 minutes, rotating halfway for even coloring. Be careful not to overbake. Cool completely before storing in an airtight container.

Note: Adapted from a recipe provided by Suzanne Drexhage, chef-proprietor of Bartavelle Coffee & Wine Bar in Berkeley.