Category Archives: Almond flour

Twenty Five Days of Cookies:

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Christmas is just five days (gulp) away and what better way is there to countdown to the big event than to feature a cookie recipe each day? Think of it as a cookie recipe advent calendar. And to fill that advent calendar I’m featuring twenty five of my favorite holiday cookie recipes that are sure to fill your holidays with cheer. Bake them to fill your cookie trays, bring them to a cookie swap or eat them yourself; they are guaranteed to bring about holiday joy. And if you love baking as much as I do, making them is a fun filled gift unto itself. Enjoy!

Here’s another one of my holiday favorites.  These bite sized cookies from King Arthur Flour are easy and fun for kids to make while being sophisticated enough for even the most refined of adult palates.  I rolled my cookies in shredded coconut but finely chopped nuts would work just as well.  The cookie filling is jam so you can be flexible and use whichever flavors you prefer.  For a colorful contrast I used strawberry and apricot but fig, blueberry, and pineapple preserves are also good.  Perhaps you need to make a double batch and experiment.

THUMBPRINT COOKIES

1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

2 eggs, separated

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup almond flour

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup shredded coconut

3/4 cup jam, jelly, or preserves of your choice

  • In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugars together until very light.
  • Beat in the egg yolks, vanilla, and salt.
  • Add the almond flour and all-purpose flour, stirring until well blended.
  • Cover and chill the dough for at least 1 hour.
  • Pre-heat the oven to 325 degrees and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  • In a small bowl, whip the egg whites until foamy.  Place the shredded coconut on a plate.
  • Break off bits of dough and roll between your hands to form 1 inch balls.  Dip the ball in the egg whites then roll in the coconut.
  • Place the cookies 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet.  Use our thumb to form an indentation in the top of each cookie.
  • Bake the cookies for 12 to 16 minutes or until they are golden brown.  Remove the cookies from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool.
  • Fill the thumbprint with jam, using about 1/2 teaspoon per cookie.

Yields: 5 dozen cookies

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Thumbprint Cookies

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Here’s another one of my holiday favorites.  These bite sized cookies from King Arthur Flour are easy and fun for kids to make while being sophisticated enough for even the most refined of adult palates.  I rolled my cookies in shredded coconut but finely chopped nuts would work just as well.  The cookie filling is jam so you can be flexible and use whichever flavors you prefer.  For a colorful contrast I used strawberry and apricot but fig, blueberry, and pineapple preserves are also good.  Perhaps you need to make a double batch and experiment.

THUMBPRINT COOKIES

1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

2 eggs, separated

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup almond flour

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup shredded coconut

3/4 cup jam, jelly, or preserves of your choice

  • In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugars together until very light.
  • Beat in the egg yolks, vanilla, and salt.
  • Add the almond flour and all-purpose flour, stirring until well blended.
  • Cover and chill the dough for at least 1 hour.
  • Pre-heat the oven to 325 degrees and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  • In a small bowl, whip the egg whites until foamy.  Place the shredded coconut on a plate.
  • Break off bits of dough and roll between your hands to form 1 inch balls.  Dip the ball in the egg whites then roll in the coconut.
  • Place the cookies 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet.  Use our thumb to form an indentation in the top of each cookie.
  • Bake the cookies for 12 to 16 minutes or until they are golden brown.  Remove the cookies from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool.
  • Fill the thumbprint with jam, using about 1/2 teaspoon per cookie.

Yields: 5 dozen cookies

Chocolate Hazelnut Macaroons

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There are two types of macaroons; the American ones that are often cloying sweet and heavily laden with coconut and then there are the French ones that are light, fluffy, and only slightly sweet.  These little sandwich cookies can be dressed up or down depending on the filling.  And anything goes; from fruit curds and jams to ganache and butter cream, all are heavenly.  There is a bakery here in Tirana that is dubbed “the French Bakery” and they make some of the best macaroons I’ve ever tasted.  Inspired by them, I decided to try my hand at my own.

I’ve adapted this recipe from one I found in Fine Cooking Magazine.  You can make your own almond meal but it is much easier to buy it pre-made.   King Arthur Flour makes a good quality flour and ships quickly to those of us who are overseas.  Always a fan of the combination of chocolate and hazelnut I decided to bring these two flavors together by putting a smear of Nutella between two chocolate cookies.  The results?  Amazing!

CHOCOLATE HAZELNUT MACAROONS

2 cups powdered sugar

1 1/3 cups finely ground blanched almond meal

3 tablespoons cocoa powder

3 to  large egg whites, at room temperature

1/4 teaspoon almond extract

3/4 cup Nutella, chocolate-hazelnut filling

  • Combine the powdered sugar,  almond meal, and cocoa powder in a bowl and mix together thoroughly with a whisk or fork.
  • Pass through a medium-coarse sieve to lighten and aerate the mixture.
  • In a glass measuring cup, add enough egg whites to reach halfway between the 1/3 and 1/2 cup measure.  Transfer to a large bowl.
  • With an electric mixer beat the egg whites on medium speed until they form soft peaks when the beaters are lifted; add the almond extract.
  • Beat on high-speed until the mixture forms stiff but not dry peaks when the beaters are lifted.
  • Pour all of the almond flour mixture over the egg whites.  With a large rubber spatula, fold the almond mixture into the egg whites just until it is fully incorporated.  The egg whites will deflate somewhat, but the batter will be thick and moist and almost pourable.
  • Drop heaping teaspoons of batter 1 inch apart on a parchment-lined cookie sheet.  Let sit for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the surface of the disks are ever so slightly dry.  This slightly dry crust will help form the characteristic little “platforms: at the base of each macaroon as they bake.
  • Meanwhile, pre=heat the oven to 400 degrees.
  • Place the cookie sheets in the oven and immediately reduce the temperature to 300 degrees.  Bake for 12 to 15 minutes until the macaroons are barely starting to turn golden.  Remove the pans from the oven and allow to cool.
  • When the cookies are cool, life a corner of the parchment pan liner.  Holding a cookie in one hand, peel the parchment paper away from the cookie.  Repeat until all of the cookies have been removed.
  • Spread 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of the Nutella on the flat side of half of the cookies.  Top with an equal sized cookie to form a sandwich.
  • Place the sandwiches on a cookie tray and cover with plastic wrap.  Put the tray in the refrigerator overnight to allow the cookies to mellow.  Bring to room temperature before serving.

Yields:  30-36 1 3/4 inch sandwich cookies.

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