18 July 2010

Nutter Butter

Life-saving Almond Cookies... it could happen!

The other day I was wandering aimlessly through the grocery store - one of those days where I couldn't seem to remember what the heck it was I needed to get, so I just walked up and down the aisles hoping to jog my memory. And before you recommend I make a list next time, I had.  I forgot it.  Yup, I was totally bringing by A-game that day.... But this story has a happy ending (even though I had to make a second trip to get garbage bags), for when I was wandering past the jams, jellies and Nutella, I spied a nice big jar of Almond Butter.  Don't get me wrong, I've seen almond butter before, but this time I found myself wondering why everyone has a recipe for peanut butter cookies, but I've never seen almond butter cookies.  Nut butters are all fairly similar, so it seems a pretty logical swap.  Of course, as I sat down to write this tonight, I did a Google search for Almond Butter Cookies and found there are several out there.  Huh, who knew?  Probably lots of people, just not me.

Inspiration in the grocery aisle
Anyway, tonight I decided to give my brilliant idea a spin.  Hubby and I had spent a full day working on the yard and doing some gardening, so we deserved a little treat.  Besides, tomorrow is "Baking Monday" at the office and I've got nothing made.  The simplest way to proceed is pretty obvious - take a peanut butter cookie recipe that you already love, and swap out some ingredients, so that's what I did.  I worked great.  I changed out peanut butter for almond butter, chopped roasted peanuts for chopped toasted almonds, and added a little bit of almond extract to the vanilla.  I also added a bit more salt, since the roasted peanuts are normally already salted, where my toasted almonds were not.  I also decided to melt the butter, since I know in my favourite Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe, the melted butter makes for a chewier cookie.  12 minutes in the oven and a decent amount of time to cool and they were ready for a taste test.  They got the initial seal of approval from hubby, as well as myself, so now it's up to the office tasters tomorrow.  But I'm optimistic; they're chewy, not too sweet and have a decent almond flavour to them.  Besides, maybe this is a decent substitute for all those folks out there who have the misfortune of being deathly allergic to peanuts, but have no problems with almonds.  Oh my god!  I just made cookies that can save lives!  Ok, so I'm not going to cure cancer anytime soon with my baking, but maybe there's some poor peanut-allergic person out there who really misses pb cookies, and I can brighten their day.  Even if it doesn't get me a Nobel Prize, I'm happy to do my part in making the world a little bit sweeter.

Happy Baking!

Almond Butter Cookies
Makes 48 cookies
Adapted form Cook's Illustrated Peanut Butter Cookies

355g (2 1/2 Cups) flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp table salt
226 g (1 Cup) unsalted butter, melted
220g (1 Cup) light brown sugar
201g (1 Cup) granulated sugar
320 g (1 Cup) unsalted almond butter, room temperature
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
140g (1 Cup) whole almonds
35g (1/4 Cup) sliced almonds

Preheat oven to 300˚F and place rack in centre of oven.  Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
In a skillet, gently toast the whole almonds, being careful not to burn or scorch them.  
As soon as they are toasted, remove them from the pan and allow them to cool on a plate or wooden cutting board.  
Coarsely chop the almonds, either with a sharp knife, or with a food processor, using short 1-second pulses.  Set aside.
In a medium bow, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together melted butter and both sugars until well combined.   
Beat in the almond butter until fully incorporated.  
Add the eggs, one at a time, along with vanilla and almond extract.  Mix the batter well, scraping down the bowl as necessary to make sure everything is fully incorporated.
Gently mix in the dry ingredients until just a few streaks of flour remain.  
Finally, add the chopped almonds and mix until the nuts are well dispersed.
Using a small scoop (a #70 or 35mm disher is my stand-by for cookies), scoop heaping tablespoonfuls if dough onto prepared cookie sheet, allowing about 1 1/2 inches of space between.  
Gently press a couple of sliced almonds into the top of each cookie, flattening the cookies a bit as you go.
Bake until cookies are puffy and golden around the edges, about 12 minutes.
Cool cookies on cookie sheet until they set up, about 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely (about 10 minutes), as these cookies are really soft until the are fully cooled.
Almond butter cookies will keep for 4-5 days in an airtight container.


FireintheBreeze (Brittany) said...

why do you tempt meeee

Leave-Room-for-Dessert said...


Valentina said...

Is that right, melted butter gives chewier cookies? I love that. Already taking notes.oh, how many times have I done the same as you and left my shopping list behind.far too many to count.I have not seen almond butter at my local supermarket.perhaps my local health food store.must check it out as I love the idea of a new ingredient.

Daily Freebies said...

I love your blog! :)

Barbara Bakes said...

Sounds like a great idea. I love that you added almond extract to up the almond flavor.

Chris said...

Sounds like a great inspiration!

Viola said...

I can vouch for these cookies! They were chewy, almondy, familiar but different, and as I reached over for my second cookie, I narrowly missed being hit on the head by a falling piano! Ok I made up that last part - it ain't really a lifesaving cookie. But it's good!