Sunday, January 6, 2013

Unforgettable Almond Cookies

Toasted ground almonds
I tried these cookies for the first time at my church, and yes, they were unforgettable.  I think that they were store-bought, but I had my heart set on recreating the almond flavor and the crisp texture.

Coincidentally, my mom had just roasted some almonds the night before, and I had ground almonds, left over from macarons I made a couple of weeks before, in the refrigerator.

So I had to make these cookies. Even if it meant procrastinating my homework.

Vanilla sugar
I adapted these from All Recipes, adding a bunch of things and changing amounts. If you're using almond meal, toast it for a couple of minutes at 350*F until fragrant.  Almond meal is a bit pricey and hard to find, so you can also toast almonds for about 6 minutes, then put them in a food processor or blender on "grind" until they are a fine powder (if you grind it for too long, it will turn into a paste.)

I used vanilla sugar, which is really easy to make if you have vanilla beans.  Use the seeds to bake something else and put the empty pod in a container with 1 cup of sugar.  Close the container and the sugar will be infused with vanilla flavor in a week or so.  If you don't have it on hand, you can use regular sugar and a bit of vanilla extract.

So anyways, these cookies are really easy to make, and the flavor is an almond-lover's dream.  It's a very unique cookie and a new favorite of mine.  It's soft on the inside and crisp on the outside.  It may even be better than the ones I had at church.

And they were really quick to make so I have plenty of time to do my homework!

Unforgettable Almond Cookies

makes about 20 cookies


1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup vanilla sugar (or regular sugar)
1 large egg
1-1/4 tsp almond extract
1 tsp orange zest
3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup toasted ground almonds
1 large egg white (2tbs) and one tbs water (to coat)
About 20 whole toasted almonds


Preheat oven to 400*F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

Cream together the sugar and butter until light and fluffy (about 5 minutes). Add the egg, extract, and zest.  Mix until well combined.

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, and salt.  Add to egg mixture and mix until incorporated.  Add ground almonds and mix until just combined.  

Roll a little less than a tablespoon of dough into a ball and place onto the sheet and repeat.  Press your thumb or the end of a wooden spoon into the dough. Then press one almond into each indent.  Whisk together the egg white and water and brush onto the dough.

Bake for 9-11 minutes, until edges are golden brown.  Remove from the oven and let rest on the baking sheet for a couple of minutes until transferring the cookies to a cooling rack to cool completely.  Keep in an air-tight container.  

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