Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Amazing Almond Cookies

Tonight was the annual department holiday party.  My party planning colleagues did a fantastic job delegating tasks, organizing entertainment, and having Lebanese food catered from Sunnin.

I was one of several people who baked what was cumulatively a lot of dessert.   Along with the cardamom chocolate chip cookies and some cupcakes (forthcoming), I tried out a new recipe for an almond cookie from Veganomicon.  They were fantastic!  Out of my three desserts, they were the slowest to go, but they were actually my favorite.  The almond flavor was so intense, they weren't too sweet, and the texture was absolutely perfect--and weirdly, they contained neither butter/earth balance nor an egg replacer!  This is all the more amazing given the fact that the recipe includes brown rice syrup, which (if you ask me) typically effs everything up in baking.

I honestly could have just eaten the dough when I made these; it was like marzipan, especially since I (for once) used no whole wheat flour and since the recipe includes ground up almonds.  Ok, so I did eat a lot of the dough.  But it won't give you salmonella or anything...

The changes I made to the original recipe were minimal: I omitted the toasted sesame oil because I was baking for a crowd and didn't want to push my luck given the cardamom in the other cookies.  Also: I blanched raw almonds and then ground them finely in a spice grinder (it seems to work better than my crappy mini-food-processor), I'd use a bit more salt than in the original recipe, and I needed far more sliced almonds for the final step than the 1/3 c the original recipe called for.  Other than that... this recipe was pure gold.

Amazing Almond Cookies
(adapted from "Terry's Favorite Almond Cookie" in Veganomicon)

2 1/4 c all-purpose flour
1/2 c ground blanched almonds (or almond meal)
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 c canola oil
1/4 c brown rice syrup
1/4 c non dairy milk
1 c sugar
1 1/2 tsp almond extract
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 to 1 c sliced almonds

1. Preheat oven to 350*F.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. Combine dry and wet ingredients in two separate bowls.  Then, add dry to wet and mix until you have dough.
3. Pour out the sliced almonds onto a plate.  Roll the dough into small balls, then smoosh them down into the almonds on one side.  Place them almond side up on the baking sheet, and smoosh them further with the bottom of a glass or a measuring cup.  Bake for 12-14 minutes, until the edges/bottoms begin to brown.  Allow to stand a while before transferring to a cooking rack.  Makes at least 3 dozen smallish cookies.

1 comment:

Mixxie said...

I've made these twice. They are so easy and so good.