Saturday, March 31, 2012

A Saturday to Savor

A light rain was still coming down this morning when we got up. Now at 4:45 p.m. the temp has risen all the way up to 38 degrees. A combination of another day of light drizzle and the slightly warmer temps has just about taken care of our recent 2+" snowfall.

It's been a perfect day for being inside, doing putzy little things around the house, catching up on reading blogs, paying bills, spending a little time quilting and baking some cookies.

Although I'm not near the cookie monster that my hubby is I do like Almond Cookies, and I don't know why it's been so long since I've made them.

As a quick aside here, Papa Pea's Aunt Jo was interested in natural foods long, long before anyone else ever gave it much thought and one of the things she ate daily was three almonds. She claimed they contained some substance (I can't remember what she said) that would keep you from getting cancer. Apparently it worked because she died of natural causes when she was well into her nineties. What this reminiscing relates to is that I always think of her when I make these cookies with almonds in them. Okay, so the almonds ingested this way probably aren't as healthy as raw almonds would be, but they sure are tasty. I've already had to beat a couple of people off with a big stick so the whole batch didn't disappear by tonight.


3/4 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon almond extract
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 cup finely ground almonds

In a large bowl, cream softened butter and sugars. Beat in eggs and almond extract. Add the flour, soda salt and cream of tartar. Mix batter well. It will be on the dry side but get it mixed up as well as you can because you still have to add the almonds.

Dump in the ground almonds. (I grind mine in my blender. Measure your one cup of almonds after they're ground, not before. It makes a difference. You want one cup of ground almonds.) Use some elbow grease and get the almonds well mixed into the cookie dough batter.

Shape dough into balls about the size of a walnut. (Mine seem to get bigger and bigger as I work my way through the dough.) Place on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 8 minutes. Cool on a rack. Makes approximately 60 cookies.

This is the point where I had to start whacking people so the cookies weren't all gone before I could freeze some for future use.

After I had sufficiently scared off the cookie snatchers, I got a little wild and crazy and made a little bowl of powdered sugar frosting with some almond extract and milk and fancied up the cookies a bit. They are just fine (and plenty good!) without the frosting (this is the first time I've ever thought of putting frosting on them) so don't go to this extra trouble if you aren't inclined to do so.

Hope you've had a good Saturday. I know I have!


Karen L. said...

Oh no, MP, a cookie post!!! Don't you know what this is going to do to me? It's past dinner time here and I try not to eat anything before bed. You are making it very difficult tonight to abide by this rule. Good thing I had a delicious piece of Orange Cream Cheese Chocolate Pound Cake tonight. Now, let's see if I can hold out.

Sparkless said...

Oh yum! We have chocolate, chocolate chip, oatmeal cookies that we put almonds and coconut in. Had to use up that extra baking stuff from Christmas. If you put enough chocolate in anything it tastes good. LOL!

I buy unsalted roasted almonds for my daughter to snack on. She's my picky eater and it's hard to find healthy snacks that she'll eat.

Judy T said...

Ooo.... those look delicious. I may have to try this one. And cookies for the freezer... that would never happen here.

Brother Pea said...

Mama Pea, How did you make the frosting???
Ingredientes and method please.

Kim said...

Oh. My. Goodness. I may have just licked my computer screen. I'm going to have to make these gluten free~and maybe tonight! Thanks for sharing! :)

judy said...

where's the cookie monster when you need him? look really good,now if I can just remember almonds next time I go out.last week I broke a record at Aldi's I got 3 carts of food in one son and I had a bet how much it would come to.I said$250.00 he said$300.00 it came to $277.34 and that is not a April fools day joke and that is not the most I spent in one trip

dr momi said...

Those look really good! And so perfectly formed cookies. Mine would be all "different" sizes :-)

Mama Pea said...

Karen L. - Orange Cream Cheese Chocolate Pound Cake?? Good grief, sounds delectable!! Who would need anything as common as a cookie if you have that??

Sparkless - All of us should use nuts for snacks . . . nuts are so good for us!

Judy - By the time some went home with my daughter, very few made it into my freezer either! I really should have made a double batch.

Kim - Are you on a gluten-free diet by choice or necessity?

judy - The thing is you feed A LOT of people so I don't doubt you have to spend a lot on groceries!

dr momi - Oh, believe me, mine truly aren't that uniform in size. As I said in the post, I get impatient when I get near the end of the dough and tend to make the balls bigger and bigger!

Mama Pea said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mama Pea said...

Brother Pea - Oh, you are not going to be happy with my reply! I have no recipe but I'll try to wing it for you.

I dumped about 1-1/2 cups powdered sugar into a small bowl. Drizzled in some almond extract, about a teaspoon? Then added a little milk, maybe 2 tablespoons but the mixture was too thick so added another tablespoon. Ooops, too thin so I put in two more tablespoons powdered sugar. Just go for the consistency you want. Thinner if you want to drizzle the frosting or thicker if you want to spread it on with a knife as I did.

You really can't foul up this "pretend" frosting. Just fiddle with the ratio of powdered sugar to milk until you get it right. Remember just a leetle bit of milk tends to go along way though. You can always add a few drops more but it's hard to take any out! That's when you have to add more powdered sugar. Back and forth, forth and back. Hope this helps.

Mama Pea said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Erin said...

Almonds are packed with the good Omegas we need to lower cholesterol and promote healthy BP, they are one of the ways I keep mine in check! Also full of magnesium and do indeed help with prevention of cancer. We go through a lot of them, hubby and I each eat about 1/2 cup a day LOL

Mama Pea said...

Erin - If only almonds weren't so expensive! But it's health insurance, right? I always have a variety of organic nuts around . . . walnuts, pecans and almonds mainly . . . but sometimes I forget that they're the perfect snack instead of something sweeter like cookies! Couldn't have a better snack for taking on outings, hikes, etc. I think I'll go munch a little assortment of 'em right now!

Jane @ Hard Work Homestead said...

Sadly there is no such thing as a 'raw almond' left in the USA. All almonds sold here must be irradiated because of one alleged case of food poisoning in California. That law passed a year or two ago even with outrage by many consumers. Again, we have lost another choice in our own food.

Mama Pea said...

Yes, a very sad situation to say the least. Fortunately, we were able to get some raw almonds at the end of 2010 which are stashed in the bottom of my freezer . . . and are being enjoyed while they last.

Lisa said...

Well, I know what I'm baking this afternoon! Your cookie recipes are simply the best. I bake the whole batch, then freeze, oh maybe half, and take it to my sweet m-i-l the next time I see her. She LOVES sweets! Her face lit up with the biggest smile when she got your Molasses Cookies!....then she quickly had to check them out as she'd never had molasses cookies quite like that before.

...and I'm for counting these cookies towards the amount of almonds we should eat each day for health benefits. Thanks, Mama Pea!

Mama Pea said...

Thanks, Lisa! I bet it's fun to be able to take your MIL "new" cookies every now and then. So glad she liked the molasses ones. Sometimes I think that generation has more fond memories of things made with molasses than the generations following. Was molasses easier to come by than sugar? Or less expensive? I wonder.