Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Almond Cookies

These are some tasty cookies based off a recipe I used to bake when I worked at Lifethyme Market in Manhattan.  They are slightly different than the ones from Lifethyme, but are equally delicious and pretty with the whole almond smack dap in the middle of the cookie and little pieces of almonds throughout the batter, giving the cookie a rich, almost buttery flavor.  Yum!  This cookie uses something interesting that I call almond sugar, which is simply whole almonds ground together with organic sugar, which is then stored in either the refrigerator or freezer to keep it fresh.  The reason behind grinding the almonds with the sugar is so that the almonds can become nice and finely ground without becoming a paste or a butter, which is what happens when you blend almonds by themselves for too long in a food processor.  Even though I literally just made these, they are already gone and I want to make them again.  They are Hubby's favorite cookie, and he goes through these funny phases where he will ask me every other day to make cookies, then will only eat 2-4 of them.  Whenever I make these though, I have to be sure to grab a couple before he gets to them or I won't be enjoying them at all. 

Almond Cookies

(Yields 12-14 Cookies)

2 cups unbleached flour
1/2 cup almond sugar (see below)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/3 cup filtered water
1 1/2 tablespoons ground flax seeds
1/2 cup canola oil
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 teaspoons almond extract
whole almonds, for garnish

Almond Sugar: (makes more than the 1/2 cup called for in the recipe - just store the rest)
1 1/4 cups organic sugar
1 cup whole almonds

1.  Prepare the almond sugar first: in the bowl of a food processor, add the almonds and sugar and process until the almonds and sugar are well combined and no pieces of the almonds remain.  Set aside.
2.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a couple baking sheets with parchment paper.  Set aside until ready to use.
3.  Into a medium sized mixing bowl, add the flax seeds and filtered water, whisking until well combined.  Add the almond sugar, canola oil, vanilla and almond extracts.  Whisk together until very well combined.
3.  Into the bowl, add the flour, baking soda and sea salt.  Stir together with a spatula until a thick batter forms. 
4.  Use desired portion scoop to scoop out the cookies.  I prefer a black #30 scoop for cute cookies.  Leave a couple inches between the cookies.  Top each cookie with a whole almond in the center and press down slightly.
5.  Depending upon the size of the portion scoop used, bake for about 12-15 minutes (longer for larger scoops), or until the top is firm and cooked all the way through.
6.  Transfer to a cooling rack right away by removing the entire piece of parchment and placing it on the cooling tray.  That's it!



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