Tag Archives: almonds

Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies: Almond Toffee Triangles

Almond Toffee Triangles

DAY 9: Almond Toffee Triangles

A shortbread crust, topped with a sliced almond caramel mixture and then baked to perfection.

Easy peasy!

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RECIPE:

Almond Toffee Triangles

Almond Toffee Triangles

Crust:
1 cup butter, softened
½ cup powdered sugar
½ tsp vanilla
2 ¼ cups flour
¼ tsp salt

Topping:
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup corn syrup (light or dark)
¼ cup butter
¼ cup heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups sliced almonds

Crust:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease bottom and sides of a 15×10” pan.

Use a mixer to cream butter and powdered sugar. Beat in vanilla. Slowly beat in flour and salt. Press evenly into greased pan.

Bake for 11-12 minutes.

Topping:
While crust is cooking, prepare topping. In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, corn syrup, butter and cream. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and almonds. Pour topping over HOT crust; spread evenly.

Bake at 350°F for 12-15 minutes, or until topping is set. Cool completely. Cut into 2 ½ inch squares. Cut each square in half diagonally.

Makes 48 triangles

 

**To prepare in a 17×13” pan, prepare 1 ½ times the recipe.

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Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies: Rocky Road Cookies

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DAY 2: Rocky Road Cookies

A soft chocolate cookie, baked and then topped with mini-marshmallows and toasted almonds; all held together by a chocolate ganache glaze. A rockier road never tasted so delicious!

This recipe comes from Glorious Treats, with a few alterations.

RECIPE:

Rocky Road Cookies 1

Rocky Road Cookies
——–(adapted from Glorious Treats)

Cookie Dough
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate (about 2 cups chips)
1 ½ cups flour
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 ¼ cups brown sugar
3 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup coarsely chopped almonds
2 cups mini marshmallows (about half of a 10 oz bag)

Glaze
1 1/2 cups bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chips
3 Tbs corn syrup
2 Tbs heavy cream

Preheat oven to 325°F. Coarsely chop the almonds, then spread onto a baking sheet and bake for 5-7 minutes. Set aside to cool.

In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, melt the butter and chocolate, stirring frequently. Set aside to cool slightly.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt; set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the sugar, eggs and vanilla on low speed until well combined. Add the cooled chocolate mixture and blend until just combined. Add the flour mixture slowly and blend until just combined.
Refrigerate dough for about 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 325°F. Line  baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mat liner. Roll about 2 Tbs of dough in your hands to create balls. Arrange about 2 inches apart on baking sheets, then flatten slightly with the palm of your hand. Bake cookies about 10 minutes.

Remove baking sheet from oven and immediately top each cookie with 5-6 mini marshmallows. Return the cookies to the oven and bake another 2 minutes. Cool cookies on pan for 2-3 minutes, then transfer cookies to cooling rack.

Prepare cookie glaze by placing chocolate chips in a small bowl. Heat corn syrup and cream in a Pyrex measuring cup in the microwave for 30-40 seconds, until hot. Pour over chocolate chips in bowl and stir until melted.

Place wire cooling rack (with cookies on it) over a sheet of aluminum foil or waxed paper (to catch any excess glaze). Use a spoon to drizzle a small amount of chocolate glaze over the marshmallows, then place a few chopped almonds on top. Then drizzle a second layer of icing over the nuts.

Allow glaze to set before serving. Refrigerate cookies for 15 minutes to set glaze faster.

Makes 3-4 dozen cookies

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Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies: Rocky Road Cookies

Rocky Road Cookies

DAY 10: Rocky Road Cookies

Chocolate cookies packed with chopped almonds, chocolate chips and dried marshmallow bits. Your favorite ice cream flavor in cookie form. Perfect with a tall glass of super cold milk.

These are the marshmallow bits that are used to make these cookies. They are very small dried marshmallow bits. They are perfect for cookies because when they are cooked, they don’t melt like regular marshmallows. Don’t substitute real marshmallows in your cookie dough: they will melt all over your cookie sheets. These bits do tend to dissolve some if over-mixed, so add them last to your dough and only mix until barely combined. I like to reserve a few and press them into the tops of each cookie dough ball just before baking.

 RECIPE:

Rocky Road Cookies

Rocky Road Cookies
——-(from TwoPeasAndTheirPod)

2 ½ cups flour
¾ cup Dutch processed cocoa
1 tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2  eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup mini chocolate chips
1 cup coarsely chopped almonds
1 ½ cups (1 jar) Mallow Bits, divided

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Whisk together flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

With a mixer, cream butter and sugars together until smooth. Add in eggs, one at a time. Mix in vanilla extract until blended.

Slowly add flour mixture to sugar mixture and mix until dough is smooth. Mix in chocolate chips and chopped almonds. Gently mix in 1 cup Mallow Bits. Drop cookie dough by rounded tablespoons onto an ungreased baking sheet. Press a few mallow bits into the top of each cookie.

Bake at 350°F for 10-11 minutes, or until the cookies are set around the edges, but still soft in the center. Don’t over bake. Remove from oven and let sit on baking sheet for 2 minutes. Move to a cooling rack and cool completely.

Makes about 4 dozen cookies

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How To . . . Blanch Almonds

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Blanched almonds are delicious in these Chinese Almond Cookies and are the basis for making almond flour. Blanched almonds sold in stores are extremely expensive, but you can easily make them at home. All you need is a bag of raw almonds.

Bring a saucepan of water to a boil. Remove from heat. Add raw almonds to the hot water. Let sit for 1 minute (not longer). Drain and pour into a bowl of ice cold water.

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Leave almonds in ice water only until they are cool, about one minute. Drain.

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To remove the skins: pinch almonds between your thumb and index finger to slide the almond out of its skin.

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Pat dry. Allow to dry completely before using in recipes.

If you over-soak your almonds and they don’t dry properly: preheat oven to 200°F. Turn oven OFF. Place almonds on a baking sheet and put into the warm (but OFF) oven. Leave almonds in the oven for 15-20 minutes.

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To make almond flour from your blanched almonds: place completely dry blanched almonds in a blender or food processor and blend until almonds form fine meal.

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Blanched almonds are also great in cookies like these Chinese Almond Cookies.

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Twelve (More) Days of Christmas Cookies: Trail Mix Cookies

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DAY 6: We’re half-way through our sugar-laden journey through Christmas cookies. Time for a cookie that at least pretends to be healthy. Packed full of everything you love in a good trail mix: dried fruits, nuts, 3 different seeds (and a little chocolate, of course); plus rolled oats, honey, whole wheat flour and wheat germ.  I find these cookies very addicting. I love the hearty mouth-feel and chewy texture.

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RECIPE:

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Trail Mix Cookies

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup honey
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups flour (white or finely milled whole wheat)
½ cup wheat germ
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 ½ cups rolled oats
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 cup chopped dried apricots
1 cup slivered almonds
¾ cup sunflower seeds, unsalted
1/3 cup flax seeds
¼ cup sesame seeds
1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Cream butter and brown sugar; beat in honey, eggs and vanilla. Beat in flour, wheat germ, baking soda and salt. Stir in oats, fruits, nuts, seeds and chocolate chips.  Mix well.

Drop by tablespoons onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake at 375°F for 8-10 minutes.

Cool for 5 minutes on baking sheet before removing to wire racks.

Makes about 60 cookies

 

TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS COOKIES (2010) RECAP:
DAY 1: Raspberry Crumb Bars
DAY 2: Pumpkin Snickerdoodles
DAY 3: Chocolate Nutella Cookies
DAY 4: Glazed Lemon Poppy Seed Cookies
DAY 5: Almond Macaroon Brownies

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Twelve (More) Days of Christmas Cookies: Chocolate Nutella Cookies

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DAY 3: Chewy, chocolaty, nutty goodness. I didn’t have hazelnuts, so I substituted chopped almonds. They were really good, but next time I will use hazelnuts so that the Nutella flavor comes through stronger.

101510 036-3 Love Nutella? Try this Pumpkin Nutella Bread Recipe!

RECIPE:

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Chocolate Nutella Cookies
————(from Simply Recipes)

¾ cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup of brown sugar
3/4 cup of white sugar
1 cup of Nutella
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla
2 eggs
2 cups, plus 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
1/4 cup of unsweetened cocoa
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup of chocolate chips
1/2 – 1 cup of chopped hazelnuts or almonds

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Cream butter in an electric mixer for 3 minutes until light and fluffy. Add the sugars and Nutella and mix well, scraping down the sides of the bowl to ensure even mixing. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating for 30 seconds between each. Add the vanilla and mix for 10 seconds.

Sift together the flour, cocoa, salt, and baking soda (do not skip this step as sifting eliminates clumps of cocoa). Mix into the butter mixture on low speed until fully incorporated, scraping down the bottom and sides at least once to ensure even mixing. Fold in the chocolate chips and nuts and refrigerate the dough for ten minutes.

Spoon tablespoon-sized drops of dough onto parchment paper lined cookie sheets. Bake at 350°F for 9-12 minutes (do not over bake; cookies will look slightly underdone). Allow to cool on the sheets for a minute or two before transferring to a wire rack to finish cooling.

Makes 5-6 dozen

 

TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS COOKIES (2010) RECAP:
DAY 1: Raspberry Crumb Bars
DAY 2: Pumpkin Snickerdoodles

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Thanksgiving: “Bacon Beans”

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This side dish comes together really quickly for a great Thanksgiving vegetable. With all of the heavy items on the table: mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, sweet potatoes- I like to have a vegetable that is crisp and tender and tastes fresh. These green beans are perfect for that.

Of my five children, only one of them thought that they liked green beans. Until I added bacon. It is amazing what a little bit of bacon will do! Adding some nuts and garlic didn’t hurt anything either. This is the one vegetable I cook where there are NEVER leftovers. They go back for seconds on this dish before anything else on the table. What a change! Whenever they smell bacon cooking around dinner time, the first question out of their mouths is, “Are you making bacon beans?”

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I love to use these skinny French green beans, sometimes called filet beans. They are super tender and very flavorful; not at all stringy. They cook very quickly, less than 5 minutes. Be sure not to overcook, or they will be mushy. Both Costco and Sam’s Club carry French beans (different brands, however). I think the one below is from Costco. You can also use regular green beans, but I really love these skinny ones. Bonus: they come with the ends already snapped. No advance prep necessary!DSC02693-1

RECIPE:

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Green Beans with Bacon and Garlic Pine Nuts (or Almonds)

1 lb French green beans (or regular beans, snapped)
6-8 slices bacon, chopped
1/4 cup pine nuts or sliced almonds
1/8 tsp garlic powder (optional)

In a skillet, combine beans and about 1/2 cup water. Add a small amount of salt to the water, if desired. Bring to a boil; cover pan and cook beans for 3-5 minutes, or until beans are crisp-tender. Do not overcook. Drain water and place beans in a serving dish.

Cook bacon in the same skillet until almost crisp. Drain excess grease, leaving 1-2 Tbs of drippings. (If you are using precooked bacon, and there are no drippings, add 1-2 Tbs butter to pan). With bacon still in the pan, add pine nuts or almond slices and cook until nuts are lightly toasted (about 2 minutes). Stir in garlic powder, if using.

Add green beans back to the pan and stir to combine and warm beans.

 

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Green Beans with Toasted Garlic Almonds

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Green beans are one vegetable that everyone at our table will eat. That and broccoli. So I try to change up the presentation every now and again, so that it doesn’t look like we are eating the same vegetable every night. This is a simple to prepare side dish that pleases even my picky eater (she’s the one helping out below!).

Start with enlisting the help of someone to wash and snap your fresh beans (even if she won’t look at you when you are holding a camera).

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Wash beans and put into a pan with a small amount of salted water.

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Cover and cook until just barely crisp-tender. Drain beans and set aside. In the same pan, melt 1 Tbs butter. Add about 2 Tbs sliced or slivered almonds.

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Cook, stirring constantly, for about 2 minutes. Sprinkle almonds with a small amount of garlic powder. Continue cooking (and stirring) until garlic powder just begins to brown (don’t overcook). Add beans back to the pan and stir to reheat.

RECIPE:

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Green Beans with Toasted Garlic Almonds

1 lb fresh green beans
1 Tbs butter
2 Tbs sliced or slivered almonds
Garlic powder

Wash and snap beans. Place in a pot with a small amount (about 3/4 cup) of salted water. Cover and cook until just barely crisp-tender. Drain and set aside.

In the same pan, melt 1 Tbs butter. Add about 2 Tbs sliced or slivered almonds. Cook, stirring constantly, for about 2 minutes. Sprinkle almonds with a small amount of garlic powder. Continue cooking (and stirring) until garlic powder just begins to brown (don’t overcook). Add beans back to the pan and stir to reheat.

 

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