These confectioners'-sugar-dusted almond cookies are also made with fruit (orange zest) and spice (anise seed), giving them a complex flavor.
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper, and set aside.
In the bowl of a food processor, blend 3 1/2 ounces almonds (about 1 cup) with a cup sugar until almonds are finely ground. Transfer almond mixture to a medium bowl. Stir in flour, orange zest, and crushed anise seeds.
Using an electric mixer, whisk egg whites, salt, and remaining 1/4 cup sugar to soft glossy peaks. Fold egg-white mixture into dry ingredients until just blended.
Spoon level tablespoons of batter 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Using remaining 3/4 ounce almonds, arrange 3 sliced almonds on each cookie. Sift confectioners' sugar over cookies. Bake until cookies are lightly browned along edges, about 12 minutes. Cool slightly before removing from sheets with a spatula.