Torta Fregolotti

also known as the Italian Crumb Cookie

1 cup blanched almonds, ground
2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons firm butter, cut into pieces
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon brandy or water

Preheat oven to 350F. In a mixing bowl, stir together almonds, flour, sugar, salt, and lemon peel. With a pastry blender or 2 knives, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle with lemon juice and brandy and mix lightly with a fork until blended. Mixture should be crumbly. Spread mixture in a greased and flour-dusted 12-inch pizza pan or a 9 by 13-inch baking pan; do not press into pan. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until browned. Let cool completely in pan on a rack. When cookie is cooled, wrap well (either in or out of pan) and let stand for at least a day. To serve, break into chunks. Store airtight.

Servings: 24
Country of Origin: Italy

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