Line baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.
In a food processor, chop almonds until in small pieces with some powdery granules. Set aside.
In a large bowl, beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in sugar, until ribbons fall from beaters when lifted. Stir in almonds, flour, almond extract and baking powder.
Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
Drop level tablespoons of batter, about 2 inches (5 cm) apart on prepared baking sheets. Using your fingertips, shape each into a neat circle.
Bake in centre of oven for about 12 minutes or until cookies are light brown and crisp on top. Set pans on a cooling rack and let cool for 2 minutes. Transfer cookies to rack and let cool completely. Sprinkle with icing sugar, if desired.
Makes 40 cookies.
Can be stored at room temperature for about 2 weeks or frozen for up to 1 month.
Try dipping them in melted chocolate for a new twist on these crisp bites.
You can substitute hazelnuts for the almonds in these cookies.
Do not use dark baking sheets for these cookies as they cause overbrowning.