Lately, there has been a lot of cookie-making in our house. This started a month ago, when Dale, Angela and George came over for dinner to celebrate my birthday. After dinner, I was craving cookies. Looking through the pantry it turned out I had just the right ingredients to make Almond Cookies. Turns out these little cookies take no time at all to mix up and pop in the oven, and I almost always have all the ingredients on hand. What could be better than spontaneous fresh cookies?!
Licking the beaters is the best, isn't it?
After Nia and I made these the other day, we took pillows, a plate of cookies, and the big Hans Christian Anderson anthology out to enjoy the sunshine in the front yard. We've started reading Thumbalina together... Nia's first experience with a book story with no pictures. It is my first time reading the story too, and it is a great one! The imagery described is so lush and vibrant! I'm excited to introduce Nia to having to imagine the story herself. It is work, but it is also incredibly liberating to get to picture the heros as we wish! Some of the story is over her head and we have to break it into manageable pieces, but we are both enjoying the experience very much.
"Almond Cookies" from Deborah Madison's Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone
1 c. almonds, toasted, finely chopped
1/2 c. unsalted butter
3/4 c. mixture of light brown sugar and white sugar (I like 1/2 c. brown and 1/4 c. white)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/4 flour
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Toast the almonds in a toaster oven, or in your preheating oven. Cream the butter and sugar until smooth and light. Beat in the egg, then add the extracts and salt. With the mixer on low, stir in the flour, then stir in the chopped nuts (the finer they are chopped, the better).
Drop the dough by teaspoons onto cookie sheets about 2" apart. Or, for a more evenly shapped cookie, roll the dough between your palms. Bake until lightly browned on top and slightly browner on the bottom, 8-10 minutes. Let cool on a rack, then dust with powdered sugar.
*** Variation: For a sophisticated tollhouse cookie, coarsely chop 1 to 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate and stir it into the batter. For mocha cookies, add 1 tsp powdered espresso to the dough as well.