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Sunday, January 30, 2005

Almond Cookies

There is something about being soaked in the rain on the walk home from school - it makes you long for freshly home baked cookies, straight out of the oven and creamy-swirled-whipped-cream on top hot chocolate with marshmallow and hug your 5 year old under the blanket, watching the rain tapping at your window and playing Memory or just... watching cartoon and telling stories.
We did just that last week. We baked a few batches of almond cookies cut in gingerbread and teddy bear shapes and brought some for report night at school and was a success with all the teachers. It is easy - just knead everything, throw the dough into the fridge for half an hour and while waiting for it to rest, sit together and drink cocoa and then use your favourite cookie cutter shapes to cut them. We made some hearts, teddies and gingerbreadmen.They turned out to be light and rich at the same time - much like enriched shortbread and you can bite into the almond. And since they are in and out of the oven in 10 minutes, you don't really have to wait a long time for your freshly baked cookies! If you are lazy - like me, you can also shape the cookies yourself. Kneading and baking is also good for the hands - amongst artisans and chefs - bakers have the softest and the silkiest hands!And here is how they turned out!

Almond Cookies
150 g flour
75g cornflour
75g rice flour
210 g butter
100g finely ground almonds
100g sugar
a packet of vanilla sugar (or 10g of sugar and a tsp of vanilla extract)
1 pinch salt

1. Sift all the flour and salt together - three times.
2. Knead all the ingredients together and then rest the dough in the fridge for an hour.
3. Roll the dough between 2 clingwraps - it will be easier and cut with your fave shapes.
4. Bake in a preheated oven (180C/350F/gas mark4) for 10 minutes.
1.The dough can be prepared ahead and left to rest wrapped in a plastic bag or clingfoil overnight. It freezes well too.
2. To decorate the cookie - make a glace with icing sugar,lemon and colouring and reduced the sugar in the recipe to 70g.