The Rachel Ray-endorsed, award-winning Almondina biscuit is like a really skinny almond biscotti, with some family history.
But before we explore that, let’s note that the Almondina folks have debuted a sister product, Almondia Toastees, in four flavors – cranberry-almond, sesame-almond, lemon-poppy-almond and coconut-orange-almond. The “toasted almond thins” are twice-baked and super-crunchy. Like the 27-year-old Almondina biscuit, Toastees are ideal for crushing and sprinkling over ice cream or yogurt, or for dipping in coffee, tea, red wine or milk. Or top the thins with cheese or slivers of fruit.
Toastees are $4 in Sprouts market, and will be in Corti Bros. Market soon. Also find them at www.almondina.com and www.amazon.com. Almondina biscuits are $3.50 at Corti’s, Trader Joe’s, Natural Foods Co-op, Nugget Markets, Whole Foods, Safeway and other stores.
Now, about that history: “Grandma” Dina Nathanson loved to bake and share her recipes, but wouldn’t part with the one for a family favorite – le petit gateau sec (small dry cookie) – until the end of her life. It was only then, in 1929, that she gave it up to her daughter, Ahuda Zaliouk.
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Ahuda handed down the recipe to her son, Yuval Zaliouk, who later became an internationally known orchestral conductor. In 1989, he named the roasted almond-studded cookie after his grandmother “Dina” and marketed it to the public through his company, YZ Enterprises. Now 13 flavors are sold nationally. Toastees is the first product the second-generation owners at YZ have created.