Use 2 large baking trays; line with baking paper. Preheat oven to 150 degrees C. Chop one quarter of the almonds in halves; toast lightly on a baking tray for 10 minutes. Cool.
Coarsely chop the remaining blanched almonds. Combine the chopped and ground almonds with the peel, rind and spices.
Place eggs and sugar in a bowl over hot, but not boiling water; whisk for 6–8 minutes with a hand whisk until thick and creamy.
Using a whisk, fold the almond mixture into the egg mixture. Drop tablespoonfuls of the mixture onto trays, piling it up a little in the centre of each cookie.
Decorate cookies with toasted halved almonds. Bake for about 20 minutes (this is more of a drying process in a cool oven), one tray at a time; the cookies should remain soft. Remove from oven, place on a wire rack overnight to cool and dry.
Try this, too…
For Glazed Cherry Cookies, cook as for main recipe; omit almonds for decoration. Mix 150 g (1 1/4 cups) icing sugar and 2–3 tbsp rum or lemon juice; spread over hot cookies. Decorate with glacé cherries.