Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Almond Cookies

On a sunny winter afternoon, the snap dragons and bougainvillea were pruned while the butter and egg warmed to room temperature. Can't get much better than fresh cut flowers and freshly baked cookies! This almond cookie recipe is ever so slightly adapted from Williams-Sonoma Bride & Groom Cookbook. The original yield is for 96 cookies but I halved the recipe (noted in blue) and used my new beautiful digital kitchen scale to calculate the appropriate measurements. My cookies are probably a little bigger than what the recipe says to do so I ended up with 3 dozen instead of the 4 dozen I should have ended up with for halving the recipe.

Prepping: 30 minutes. Chilling: 3 hours. Baking:  8 minutes per batch. Yield: 96 cookies (36) 
Tools: baking sheets, chef's knife, electric mixer, parchment paper, wire racks

Brings me back to organic chemistry lab ... minus the goggles, explosions, and elusive yields.














Ingredients: 
  • 2 1/2 cups (350g) slivered or sliced (flaked) blanched almonds, toasted (175g)
  • 1 1/4 cups (155g) cake four (78g)
  • 1 cup (155g) all-purpose flour (78g)
  • 1 cup (250g) butter, slightly softened (1/2 cup)
  • 3/4 tsp kosher salt (2.5g)
  • 2 2/3 cup (330g) powdered sugar (165g)
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature (I didn't halve the egg which led to a stickier dough)
  1. In a bowl, stir together almonds and both flours; set aside.
  2. In a bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until soft and creamy. Add the salt and powdered sugar and mix on medium-low speed until thoroughly combined, about 5 minutes, scraping down the bowl as necessary. Reduce the speed to low and add the egg; mix until blended. Add the flour mixture. As soon as the dough comes together, stop the mixer.
  3. Scrape the dough onto a large sheet of plastic wrap. Using another piece of wrap to help shape the dough, gently press it into a rectangle about 4.5 by 8 inches and about 1.5 inches thick. Because I ran out of plastic wrap and (thankfully) also halved the recipe, I made one ~2x2x8 inch log using one sheet of plastic wrap. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate until it is firm enough to slice, at least 3 hours or up to several days. 
  4. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  5. Unwrap the dough, trim the edges to neaten them, and slice the dough length-wise into 3 logs each 1.5 inches wide. I did not do this dividing part since my log wasn't as big to start with. Slice each log crosswise into square cookies 1/4 inch thick. In batches as needed, arrange the squares 1/2 inch apart on the lined baking sheets.
  6. Bake until lightly browned around the edges, about 8 minutes, switched racks and rotating the baking sheets halfway through for even baking. Let cook on baking sheets until slightly set, then transfer to wire racks to crisp before serving them.

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