There is something about going on a diet that makes me think about food. Fattening, sugar loaded, deep fried, saucy, cheesy food. Read: delicious, lip-smacking, comforting meals and desserts. And while eating a chocolate fudge cake while on a diet would be too ironic, you can always eat a cookie or two. And so I started my diet plan today and I baked some cookies. Yes, I am crazy like that.
I skipped my breakfast, thinking I can do better without it, ended up having a mug full of milky-sugary tea with some jam sandwich biscuits. And my thoughts drifted towards cookies and their recipes and there are these almond cookies that I had not baked in a while, so I gave it a go today. These cookies are so easy to make. Takes just about 5minutes to make. And 15 to bake. So within 20minutes, you have some really crunchy on the top, soft in the middle, earthy, nutty almond cookies, that I can eat a whole batch of.
It takes just a couple of ingredients too. And chances are if you are into baking, you will already have them in your pantry.
- Unsalted butter at room temperature – 250grams
- Caster sugar – 140grams
- Plain flour – 270grams
- Almond flour (or ground almonds) – 30grams
- Egg – 1large
- Almonds – a handful
- Vanilla extract – 1teaspoon
- Mix butter and sugar with a wooden spoon. You dont want to beat the butter and make it runny and oily, but just enough to incorporate the sugar. A wooden spoon is best for it as it will fold in the sugar instead of beating or whisking the butter. See how it holds texture here, despite the fact that the butter has been out of fridge since yesterday.
- Add in the egg and vanilla essence and fold. Again, go soft and slow. It will be a bit mushy, but not runny. Here it is after I added the egg and vanilla extract.
- Sift the flour and add in the mixture along with the almond powder. Now its time to get messy. Use your hands to work the mix and incorporate it well. Do not knead the flour, keep it nice gentle pats and folds to make it come together evenly. Over-kneading will work the gluten and make the cookies hard. Sorry I couldnt take the picture of how the dough looks like. I had got a call, and I was, well…single handedly mixing it all together. The dough looks greasy and sticky but that’s fine. That’s how we want it.
- Chop up those almonds and mix in the dough. As much or as little, as chunky or as fine as you like.
- Make small balls of the batter, a little bigger than your average Ferrero Rocher balls and lay on the baking tray. Its important to make the ball shape as it expands on baking. And keep them well apart as they expand a lot. Just a handful on a singlr tray. Top with crushed almonds, and just slightly press in for almonds to stick. Sorry, no pictures again as I was still on phone.
- Put them in a preheated oven at 180C, or 160C for fan assisted oven, or gas mark 4 for 15minutes. The recipe says 15 but honestly, I baked them for 17minutes. And done.
- Do not touch or move them fresh out of the oven for a few minutes. Let them cool down on their own. They’ll crisp up and get a soft, textury middle. And the taste is so earthy and comforting. Ummm…divine!
Keep them in an air tight container if you manage to have any leftover cookies. I hardly had any and ate most of them. Did I mention I started dieting today!? Well, looks like I will start it tomorrow.