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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Almond Cookies

Here's the view from my driveway.  I'm not a snow person, but I'll be the first to admit that it sure is pretty.


Gus will tell you that it's fun to play in.

I'd almost say that Clyde and Gus have more fun playing in our backyard full of snow than they do playing in our sunny backyard in the summer.

Almost.  I myself prefer the sun to the snow, and I don't want to say anything that might tempt the fates to favor my dogs' wishes over mine.

Heaven knows, their wishes very rarely get denied around here.

It's hard to ignore the stare of persuasion.  Especially when it's accompanied with the harder-to-ignore whine of imploration.

 Hey, Clyde, help me out here.  I'm being ignored.

Happy to oblige, Gus!  I'll melt her with my pleading puppy face.

Mission accomplished.  No whine necessary.

I tell myself...look away, Fran, look away.  If I don't look away, I'll be baking dog cookies instead of almond cookies!

Okay, today's recipe is my go-to cookie recipe.   The drawback is that you have to mix them up in advance because they need time to chill before you bake them.

Let's be optimistic instead, and say that it's a PLUS that you have to mix the dough and scoop the cookies in advance.  The dough will keep for a few days, so it's like having ready-to-bake cookies in your fridge!  


Today's Playlist
  • "Sorry She's Mine"...The Small Faces
  • "Bad Luck"...Social Distortion
  • "Hate to Say I Told You So"...The Hives
  • "Come Out And Play"...The Offspring
  • "Mr. Jones"...Counting Crows
  • "Creepin Up The Backstairs"...The Fratellis
  • "Dead!"...My Chemical Romance
  • "Hello Operator"...The White Stripes

Almond Cookies (makes about 20 REALLY BIG cookies)
  • 2 sticks butter
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
add-ins & add-ons: sanding sugar, non-pareils or sprinkles

Gather your ingredients.

Line your baking sheets with parchment paper.
  
This is where I usually instruct you to preheat your oven.  Since the dough will need to be refrigerated before you bake the cookies, however, there is no need for me to write these instructions yet.

It feels weird, not to be giving you preheating instructions.

So I'm going to tell you that when you do bake these cookies, you will need to bake them at 350 degrees.  And now I feel complete.

Just in case you're wondering what will happen if you decide not to allot the time for refrigeration and bake the cookies immediately:  they will get very flat and crispy.  How do I know this?  Because that's how they turned out the first time I baked them.

I then decided that they needed to be colder, to give them a higher melting point when they baked.  Now they are no longer flat and crispy; they are thicker, and crunchy on the outside and still chewy on the inside.

In other words, my idea of perfect.

Your choice: refrigerate or not.  Perfect or flat!

And now, back to our recipe.

In the bowl of your mixer, on a medium high speed, beat the butter, sugar, egg and extracts until light and fluffy. 

This will take about 5 minutes, so go combine your dry ingredients while the mixer is beating the butter/sugar mixture.
Put the flour, corn starch, baking soda and salt into a medium bowl.

Whisk to combine.

Check on your batter.  It should be all light and fluffy.


Add the dry ingredients, and mix just until combined.

I use a very large cookie scoop to form my cookies.  There are about 3 tablespoons of dough in each cookie.  Now is the time for you to decide if you want to bake plain almond cookies...

or top them with sanding sugar...

or add in some non-pareils...


 or add in some sprinkles.  I usually scoop out half of the cookies plain, then mix about 1/2 cup of sprinkles into the remaining batter.

 Whatever you decide,  just make sure that you scoop the dough into equally-sized portions onto your parchment paper-lined cookie sheets.
I leave a lot of space between the cookies, so that they have time to expand when they cook.  After you have scooped all of the cookies, tightly wrap your cookie sheets with plastic wrap and place into your refrigerator to chill for at least two hours.  

You don't necessarily have to bake them after two hours.  I've left them in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

When you are ready to bake the cookies, preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Bake the cookies for 13 to 17 minutes; depending upon their size and/or the efficiency of your oven you may have to adjust the baking time. 

The cookies are done when they start to crack on top.  They will actually look like they are not cooked enough (still soft, not browned), but they will harden as they cool.    I know from experience that they will take 15 to 16 minutes to cook in my oven.

If you want to eat some of the cookies while they are still warm, go for it!  Or allow them to cool first.  You do not need to put these cookies onto wire racks to cool down.  They do best if they are allowed to harden and cool completely on the cookie tray.

So what'll it be?
 Plain?

 Or sprinkles?

Or both?

Enjoy.






3 comments:

  1. So sweet!! Happy Valentine's Day Fran!! And, wishing you a happy weekend! xo Heather

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yummy, both please! Bet both the pups got at least a dog biscuit, with those adorable faces. I can never turn down those dog eyes, lol.
    Happy Valentine's Day Fran!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I agree Fran, the snow sure is pretty and I know that I would miss it if we ever moved away, but I am much more a sunshine girl! Those faces are just precious. How could you ever resist? How did you know I love anything almond flavored? I would prefer plain, but the grands would love the sprinkles!
    hugs,
    Jann

    ReplyDelete

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