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Chewy and soft almond cookies: Almond flour intensifies the flavor and aroma

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National Almond Day is a great food holiday for everyone who simply loves the flavor, aroma and texture of almonds. National Almond Day is celebrated each year on February 16 and we thought these cookies would be perfect to bake to celebrate with your family.

This little nut provides a unique taste to anything it is baked into. Here we have a recipe that splits the flour with cake flour and almond flour for more of that almond flavor. Almond flour by the way is gluten-free so feel free to enjoy more baked products without the guilt or having a reaction to treats you bake.

This recipe isn’t entirely gluten-free so be careful whom it is served to.

Now these particular almond cookies are soft and chewy and as they cool down get just slightly crisp on the outside. The baking time however is much shorter than most cookie recipes so if the cookies look underdone don’t panic they are supposed to look and feel that way to retain their softness but will firm up slightly as they cool completely.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cups of sugar
  • 2/3 cups of unsalted cold butter
  • 2/3 cups of shortening, at room temperature
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons of almond extract
  • 2 ¾ cups of cake flour
  • 1 cup of almond flour
  • 1 tablespoon of cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • 6 tablespoons of raw or coarse sugar to garnish

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350’.
  2. Use an electric mixer to cream the butter, sugar and shortening together.
  3. Mix in the eggs and extract.
  4. In a separate mixing bowl whisk together the flours, cornstarch, baking soda and salt.
  5. Add he dry ingredients a little at a time to the creamed sugar and butter in the mixer until the cookie batter is thoroughly combined.
  6. Wrap the cookie dough with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  7. Then take approximately 2-3 teaspoonfuls of cookie dough and roll it into a ball.
  8. Once the cookie balls are formed roll them into the raw or coarse sugar and place them on a cookie sheet approximately 2 inches apart from each other.
  9. Bake in the oven for 7-8 minutes.
  10. Remove the cookies and press the tops down using a spoon or small glass to flatten them just a bit while they are warm.
  11. Allow the cookies to cool for 3 minutes before transferring them to a rack to cool completely.
  12. Once cookies are completely cooled place them on a tray, platter or in a cookie jar and serve.
  13. Enjoy!

(Almond flour used in recipe was provided by California almonds)

© 2014 Beverly Mucha / All Rights Reserved

Jackson residents can shop at any of these local grocery stores: Pick’n Save or Wal-mart for all the ingredients needed for this recipe.

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Parmesan herb almonds
Parmesan herb almonds California Almonds

Parmesan herb almonds

INGREDIENTS:

3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 Tbs. Italian herb seasoning
1 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. paprika
2 egg whites
2 cups whole natural almonds, roasted

PREPARATION:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a small bowl, mix all ingredients except egg whites and almonds; set aside. In large bowl, whisk egg whites until they begin to form soft peaks and are opaque. Add almonds; toss to coat. Add cheese mixture; toss gently to coat evenly. Oil, or coat a baking sheet with vegetable cooking spray. Arrange almonds on baking sheet in single layer. Bake in center of oven 15 minutes. Gently toss almonds and arrange again in single layer. Continue to bake 15 minutes longer; toss gently. Turn off oven. Leave almonds in oven with door ajar 20 minutes. Remove from oven; cool completely. Store in airtight container up to one week.

Parmesan herb almonds

Almond meringue kisses
Almond meringue kisses California Almonds

Almond meringue kisses

DESCRIPTION:

What could be better for Valentine’s Day than a kiss from your sweet? Perhaps homemade almond meringues kiss! Easy to make, and even easier to eat, these crunchy meringues flavored with almond extract and almond flour, then dipped in dark chocolate and chopped almonds, are a treat you’ll love any time of the year!
INGREDIENTS:

3 large egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
3/4 tsp almond extract
1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup water
1 tsp honey
3/4 cup almond flour
1 to 1 1/2 cups sliced almonds, very finely chopped
1 cup (6 oz) dark chocolate chips
1 tsp canola oil

PREPARATION:

Position two racks in the center of oven and preheat oven to 175F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicon baking mats. In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the whip attachment, beat egg whites on medium speed until frothy. Reduce speed of mixer and add cream of tartar and almond extract and continue to mix. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, bring sugar, water, and honey to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-high and cook until mixture reaches 238’F on a candy thermometer. Immediately remove from stovetop and slowly pour into mixer while still running. Once entire sugar mixture has been added, increase speed of mixer to high and whip for 6 to 8 minutes, or until thick, glossy and cooled to room temperature. Remove from mixture, add almond flour, and gently fold until evenly combined. Transfer mixture to a large piping bag, fitted with a ½ inch round pastry tip (Ateco |806 recommended), and pipe into large kisses, about 2 inches wide. Bake for 6 hours to overnight, or until meringues have completely dried through but have not browned. Let cool to room temperature. Spread chopped almonds onto a large plate; set aside. Over a double boiler, gently melt chocolate chips. Add canola oil and stir until combined. Transfer mixture to a shallow bowl and dip bases of meringues into chocolate. Gently shake each meringue over the bowl of chocolate after dipped to remove excess chocolate and set in chopped almonds. Transfer meringues to a baking sheet to set chocolate before serving, about 20 minutes.

Almond meringue kisses

Horchata
Horchata California Almonds

Horchata

DESCRIPTION:

This Mexican favorite is cool, creamy and refreshing all year-round.

INGREDIENTS:

1/2 (7-ounce) package almond paste
1 quart water, divided
1/2 cup rice flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Cinnamon sticks for garnish (optional)

PREPARATION:

In a food processor, combine almond paste and 2 cups water. In large sealable pitcher, combine almond mixture, rice flour, cinnamon and remaining water. Shake well and refrigerate for 12 to 24 hours. Shake well again and strain through a metal strainer into a pitcher. Then line strainer with a double layer of cheesecloth, and strain into another pitcher. Discard solids and pour liquid over ice into tall glasses. Garnish each glass with a cinnamon stick if desired. Per serving for 4 servings.

Horchata

Almond crusted pork chops with quick cabbage and pears
Almond crusted pork chops with quick cabbage and pears California Almonds

Almond crusted pork chops with quick cabbage and pears

INGREDIENTS:

1 (2-ounce) bag ground almonds or 2/3 cup chopped whole natural almonds
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper
4 boneless pork chops (about 1 1/2 pounds total)
3 tablespoons almond or canola oil
2 Anjou pears, cored and sliced
2 cups shredded red cabbage or radicchio
1/4 cup chicken broth, wine white or water

PREPARATION:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Combine almonds with thyme, salt and pepper in a shallow pan or bowl. Roll each pork chop in crumb mixture, coating all over. Heat oil in a large skillet, and add pork chops; fry on medium heat 5 minutes without touching. Turn, using tongs instead of a spatula to avoiding splattering oil. Cook for 5 more minutes, or until golden brown. Transfer to a lined baking sheet and place in oven to finish cooking, 10 to 20 minutes depending on thickness – juices should run clear and no pink should remain. Scrape brown bits from skillet and discard. Add pear slices and brown on medium heat. Lower heat to medium low and add cabbage and broth, wine or water. Cover and cook until cabbage wilts and pork chops are done. Serve pork chops on top of cabbage and pears.

Almond crusted pork chops with quick cabbage and pears

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