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Sunday, December 18, 2011

Chocolate Almond Cookies

I had good intentions of making festive gingerbread cookies for our work holiday party last week. However, after mixing all of the dry ingredients and proceeding to cream the butter with the brown sugar, I realized that we were out of brown sugar! Although I was disappointed, there was a recipe for chocolate roll-out cookies I had been meaning to try for a while.



The recipe was very basic (and looked a bit boring to be honest) so I added in some vanilla extract and crushed raw almonds for excitement. I loved the way these turned out, they were so rich but not too sugary, they really reminded me of a nice Dutch Chocolate Cookie. I sprinkled the raw almonds on about half of the cookies and left the others as simple chocolate cookies that were tasty as well. The shapes I used were: Rocking horse, winter mitten, candy cane, Christmas tree, and little men.

Ingredients:

- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder (this ingredient really makes or breaks the cookie, I always use a nice and rich cocoa powder)
- 1 ¼ teaspoons baking powder
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup unsalted butter, softened (I never said they were good for you…)
- 1 ¼ cups white sugar (I think I used more like 1 1/8 cup actually)
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract (I use a bourbon vanilla ext!)
- Optional: crushed almonds ( I just grab about 2 handfuls of raw unsalted almonds and grind in a food processor)


Instructions:

- Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt and set aside. Cream together the sugar and butter until smooth then beat in the egg and vanilla extract. Slowly incorporate the dry mixture making sure to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl frequently. Once a soft dough is formed, separate into 2 sections, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours.
- Preheat oven to 375 deg F. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to about 1/8 inch thick and have fun with your cookie cutters!!
- Place them on a cookie sheet (I always use parchment paper on the sheet to prevent burning the bottoms of the cookies). At this point you can add the crushed almonds if desired (just sprinkle on top of each cookie). Cook for 8-10 minutes.


As a side note, I also had raw hazelnuts and pecans which would have been good on top of the cookie for something different!

What’s on your baking agenda this holiday season? I’ve already gotten to make about 6 pumpkin pies (my favorite), gingerbread men, muffins of all sorts and Christmas cookies. I would still like to attempt to whip up some eggnog and some hot buttered rum..


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