Combine the tablespoon each butter and flour to make a paste. Spread some over a cookie sheet and set aside.
Combine egg whites, milk, vanilla, and salt and let sit until room temperature. (You can speed the process by slightly warming mixture over a pan of hot water.)
Add melted butter to egg white mixture. Whisk in sugar until evenly blended. Add flour and whisk until smooth.
Spoon 1 1/2 tablespoons batter per cookie onto prepared cookie sheet. Allow six inches for spreading; each sheet will hold 3 cookies. With a spatula, spread each blob of batter out to form a thin 5-inch circle, leaving about an inch between cookies. Scatter some almonds over batter.
Bake about three to five minutes, until lightly golden all over. Slide a long spatula under each cookie, carefully lift off and immediately place cookie over an inverted coffee cup or custard cup. Cover with a dry cloth and press down to mold into a fluted shell. Repeat with other cookies. Shells will stiffen in 1 to 2 minutes.
Recoat baking sheet and repeat spreading, baking, and molding process until all cookies are baked. Serve immediately or store in airtight tins.
It takes some practice to get the knack of molding these thin, crisp cookies. They make a delightful "bowl" for ice cream or sorbets. These cookies can also be cooled curved over a rolling pin for tuiles, or tile-shaped cookies.
c.1997, M.S. Milliken & S. Feniger, all rights reserved