Tuesday, August 31, 2010

[Cookie 089] Spiced Almond Wafers

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Hey there. I'm still in Ghana. Very much so. It's really starting to set in that I'll be living here for 3.5 more months, which is so strange, but also pretty awesome! You know what goes down after my classes?? Everyone goes to this awesome cafe (if I can even call it that) that is essentially just a few tables and plastic chairs set on the side of the quiet road leading to the NYU Academic Center, and we all get a Star beer (Ghanaian!) and chill out. Uh, YES. Yeah yeah, I can hear my mom and dad groaning all the way across the Atlantic ocean; "Lizzie, do you even do any work there?! What are we paying for!?" Well, I do do work, thank you very much--it's just that Ghanaians really know how to relax. When in Rome/Accra…

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Anyway, this is a cookie blog, and not a travel blog! I haven't yet made any cookies here yet, but this weekend it is SO happening, I promise. It has somehow spread around amongst the other students here that I bake cookies often, which is a bad sign because I think there might be a hype that I can't live up to! The pressure!! Anyway, there are a couple recipes that call for ingredients that are super pricy in the states--like Lyle's Golden Syrup--which are very cheap here, but other things are really expensive here, like chocolate. Basically anything imported has a huge price tag, even for American standards, which makes things a little difficult. Nah, actually, I'll just treat grocery shopping like a treasure hunt or something. Eventually I'll find all the cheap flour and sugar! Do you know they have COCONUT FLOUR here?! Awesome!! How do I use it/what do I use it in??

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Okay, well this post is actually about another old cookie recipe that I baked right before I flew off to this other side of the globe. Spiced Almond Wafers! Thin, crisp, and spicy--and pretty too. The dough, surprisingly, tasted more spicy before it was baked, which is pretty odd since usually the flavors get enhanced after baking, and after having a day to set in. These cookies ended up tasting nice, but nothing shockingly flavorful or anything. I also wished they were a little thinner, like the pictures, but maybe I just didn't slice the dough thin enough. Oh hey! Idea! Maybe you could use a cooking mandolin to slice the dough evenly! Would that work??

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The recipe itself, however, is a little more interesting than most of her recipes. Whipping up the dough is the same as usual, but once you've made it you stick it into some mini bread loaf tins so that the dough freezes into a brick shape. I didn't have any mini loaf pans, so I just used regular sized ones and didn't fill them up bigger than I wanted the dimensions of the cookies to be.

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Once you freeze the dough for a while, you slice off cookies and decorate them with almond slices. It can get a little tedious, but if you've got some jams playin' it shouldn't take you too long. And the end result is pretty dang adorable, and I can't deny an adorable cookie. Some people can't deny adorable children--I can! But an adorable cookie, that's another matter.

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As you can see, the cookie travels well and is perfect for picnics too! A good snacking cookie, nothing all that heavy or dense, so you can bring them to a party and people won't complain that you're trying to fatten them up (a problem, I must admit, I have encountered a couple of times).

So, in conclusion, these cookies are cute and people will like the way they look and most will like the way they taste. They will probably fall in the middle of my rankings of best cookies, but they ain't bad!

Ciao puppies
xx

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Spiced Almond Wafers
Makes about 6 dozen (it's true!!)

Ingredients

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups packed dark-brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 cup sliced blanched almonds

  • Directions

  • Line 2 mini loaf pans with plastic wrap.
  • Whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. Beat butter and sugar with a mixer on medium speed for 4 minutes. Reduce speed to low. Add eggs and spices. Beat in flour mixture in 3 additions.
  • Press cookie dough into pans, and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Freeze for 1 1/2 hours (or up to 1 month).
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Remove dough from 1 pan. Let soften slightly. Cut eight 1/8-inch-thick slices with a sharp knife. Cover remaining dough, and freeze in pan until ready to slice and bake.
  • Place slices 1 1/2 inches apart on a cookie sheet lined with a nonstick baking mat. Top each with 2 to 3 almond slices. Freeze until firm, 5 minutes. Bake until dark golden brown, 10 minutes. Let cool on sheet on a wire rack. Repeat.

  • ****
    {End Results}
    Baking Difficultly: 3.5/5
    Ingredient Accessibility: 4/5
    Tastiness: 3/5
    Attractiveness: 4/5
    Is it worth it?: Yeah sure, why not

    {Pairings}
    Drink: Aw, a nice light wine, if you wanna get fancy romantic.
    Song: Skinny Love -- Bon Iver
    Activity: A picnic, complete with cherries, a baguette, and kettle corn. And that wine. Trust me when I say that can't be beat...

    5 comments:

    Helen said...

    I'm so glad that you're still able to bake and post while in Ghana. I was worried there for awhile... ;o)

    Easy Picnic Recipes said...

    yummy! looks like so tasty! I'll try to make it soon.

    ali said...

    I do like a good spicy cookie...

    Basic Meatloaf Recipe said...

    Awesome post!
    What a cookie! Thanks a lot for sharing.

    jo said...

    "Great post, very useful for a beginner like me"
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