These delicate almond lace wafer cookies have a wonderfully light crisp texture and can easily be made gluten free. Dip them in chocolate or leave them plain, they’re always a hit!
these cookies were part of my fun Reader’s Recipe series!
Today’s recipe for beautiful Almond Lace Wafers was sent in by Donna, who lives in Carmel Indiana. This was her mom’s recipe, and it’s been a beloved Christmas tradition for her since she was a child. I hear it again and again in your emails to me, these cookie recipes that you send in represent treasured holiday memories, and the ritual of making of them year after year is an important part of your lives. Like all of the other cookies I’ve shared, these are incredibly delicious, too, and I have a feeling that after this post there’ll be a lot more people out there who’ll want to incorporate them into their own holidays.
Almond lace cookies are an old time favorite
In her note to me, Donna called these cookies “fragile, beautiful, and delicious.” I couldn’t describe them better. They have a lovely almond toffee flavor, with a snappy crispness. The batter is very thin and spreads out in the oven to make the lacy appearance. They flat cookies are cooled for a minute, then rolled around the handle of a wooden spoon to form little tubes. The toffee candy flavor and crunch comes from the butter and sugar caramelizing in the oven.
Use almond meal or grind your own almonds
While the recipe calls for grinding almonds I used almond meal and it worked great. It’s a nice thing to have around for holiday baking, I keep it in the fridge to preserve the freshness longer, because nut meals can spoil quickly. Using the pre-ground almonds really makes this cookie a snap to put together.
Rolling these cookies is not difficult!
The rolling of the fresh-from-the-oven cookies was surprisingly easy and not as fussy as I’d feared. You’ll need the handle of a wooden spoon, or something similar, to roll the warm cookies around. They cool down and hold their shape immediately so you can move right on to the next.
Almond lace cookies have a Scandinavian heritage
Donna says her mother was Swedish, and that makes sense since these cookies are definitely Scandinavian in origin. You can leave them flat if you don’t want to roll them, and I couldn’t resist dipping a few of them in a little dark chocolate.
I was really happy with this recipe, but I guess I should expect that by now, every cookie in this series has been a slam dunk. In the past I’ve had lace cookies that were either too delicate, or too greasy, but these were just perfect. They’re thick enough to hold together and have some body, but still incredibly light and crisp.
Thanks so much for sharing these with us Donna <3
notes for almond lace cookies:
- Get everything organized before starting because it’s a quick process with steps that need to be done promptly. Locate a wooden spoon with a slender handle, even a round chopstick would work.
- Prepping the baking sheets is key — be sure to grease or spray them, and then dust with flour. I re-dusted with flour a couple of times. I did try my silicone mat but it did not work as well as the greasing and dusting, fyi.
- While it sounds a little bit hectic to have to remove the cookies at exactly the right time, let them cool for a minute, then flip and roll them, all before they harden, I found it was really easy and problem free. The warmth of the cookie sheet keeps the cookies pliable enough while you roll them, I never had to put them back into the oven to soften.
- It helps to do a test cookie or two to make sure your oven is set correctly, etc.
- For easy chocolate dipping, put a cup of chocolate chips in a pyrex measuring cup and microwave for 60 seconds. Stir until melted and smooth. Zap for a few more seconds if necessary. Dip half of the cookie into the chocolate, shake off excess, and lay on parchment to firm up. It helps to put them in the refrigerator to speed up the process.
tvfgi recommends: USA Sheet Pans
There are sheet pans, and then there are sheet pans. I used to use cheap sheet pans that warped and twisted and burned the bottoms of my cookies. Then I tried USA pans and realized that there is a difference. These pans have no bells and whistles, they’re just good solid durable cookware. A set of two will see you through many years of holiday cookie baking. USA makes a whole line of bakeware and I’m slowly replacing all my pans. Plus, they’re made in the USA!
Make these almond lace wafers your own!
Make them gluten free by substituting gluten free flour for the regular flour.
You can substitute other varieties of ground nuts for the almonds, I think pecans, walnuts, or hazelnuts would be great. You can also make these with oatmeal!
Dip them in white chocolate.
Double dip in sprinkles or nonpareils for a pretty effect.
Almond Lace Wafers
- 3/4 cup grated un-blanched almonds (use blender, nut grater, or food processor – do not
- grind into powder, but leave a bit crunchy) [Sue’s note: I used almond meal.]
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 Tbsp flour [ or use a gluten free flour mix, or oat flour if you like]
- 1 Tbsp heavy cream or evaporated milk
- 1 Tbsp whole milk
- Set oven to 350F
- Grease and flour 2 cookie sheets.
- Put the ground almonds or almond meal into a saucepan.
- Mix in all remaining ingredients.
- Cook over low heat until butter melts, stirring constantly. Batter is very thin.
- Drop by teaspoonfuls onto the prepared cookie sheet, only 5-6 at a time as batter will spread.
- Bake 7 to 9 minutes or until a light caramel color, with centers still bubbly. Watch very carefully so as not to overbrown.
- Let cool for 1 minute, then immediately transfer, UPSIDE DOWN, to waxed paper.
- Working quickly, immediately roll each cookie quickly around the handle of a wooden spoon, forming a loose cylinder. If cookies start to harden, return to oven for 1 minute to soften.
- Allow to cool.
Questions and Reviews
‘Thankyou Sue for the lovely recipe. Enjoyed watching your film of your lineup. Lots to choose from. M
Fantastic! I halved the recipe and made them gluten free. Then I shaped them by draping them over a wooden rolling pin. They looked like fancy tuiles but soooo much easier to make. This recipe is definitely a keeper. Thank you!
My mother made this recipe every holiday. This year we baked the cookies on parchment paper and it worked really well. When cookies are done, remove from oven and slide parchment with cookies off the hot sheet on to stone counter top. Let them cool there for maybe 10 seconds – until the cookie edge holds. Have a duplicate piece of parchment ready. Place duplicate parchment over cookies and flip them over. They peal right off. Then pull the cookies which are now on the duplicate parchment back on the warm cookie sheet. Start rolling. They are the perfect temperature to form around a spoon handle and the residual heat keeps the waiting cookies pliable. These cookies also make a delicious torte. Make larger but flat cookies. Layer with ice cream and drizzle with chocolate.
Thanks so much Sue!
Excellent recipe. I used tapioca flour for gluten free cookie and that worked better than the gluten free flour mix which I have found doesn’t crisp very well. Also used Silicon mat and they turned out perfect. I flipped them one at a time back onto the mat and they stayed warm enough to easily roll. Will be making these again.
How many wafers does this make?
The recipe makes about 27-30 cookies, give or take.
Another of your wonderful recipes I can add to my repertoire! I found these easy to make but you really must pay attention. The only thing is mine came out more lacey than I expected. The ones in your picture are thicker. Should I just add a bit more flour
That should work fine Claire.
I tried to make this twice, but each time, I couldn’t roll them around the handle of a wooden spoon !
What shall I do in that case ?
It sounds like they were too cool, Heba. Next time be sure to roll them sooner. You might try putting the cookies back in the oven briefly, they might soften enough to roll.