Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Joy [Almond Shortbread] Cookies

We are a laid back family and because of this chill attitude, we do not have any "must do" traditions for a holiday. But I must add, I do enjoy baking especially in the colder months. Ever overdo it when it comes to baking? I did. Yep, just this past Christmas. However, it was a joy to bake and enjoy the goodies. And, did I enjoy them! Yum! I'm already contemplating when I will bake my next batches! These cookies break almost all the rules but I tell myself that if I choose better quality ingredients then I'm not breaking ALL the rules. =) 

Today's post will be a recipe I originally found in a magazine for military commissaries about 3 years ago. For this past Christmas, I was thumbing through various old recipe cookbooks and I stumbled upon this one I'm sharing today. 

I love finding recipes I have not made in a while and in this case, since the Christmas before. I have two shelves dedicated to recipes I have made over the years and I keep all the good ones from the recipe cards found inside the CSA box pick-ups. Pinterest is a great place to store recipes, too. Are you following? Follow me on Pinterest with the 6K+ others - go do it now before you forget. I'll wait. =)

Joy Cookies - Almond, Chocolate YUM - #ConveyAwareness

One of the best parts of having a blog is having your own online recipe index. My husband recently asked me if I'd like for him to order a series of cookbooks for diabetics and I declined. I replied that the recipes were most likely using artificial sweeteners. (You're probably wondering if we are diabetic. We are not but several of my clients are or are borderline and they're usually asking for recipes on what to cook.) I told my husband that I / we can find whatever I / we need already on my blog or on countless other real food blogs. 

This recipe is not unique as you may find various renditions online but it is delectable and you get to control how big of a piece you want and with any recipe, you get to choose the quality of the ingredients. This year I cut the cookies bigger than in years past. Other years I made them into bite size squares and I think that is a good idea especially if you like cookies. If I'm not thinking about vegetables, you can best believe I'm thinking about cookies! And these are nothing short of "I'll have three (or more) of these." 

Preheat oven to 375°.

2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter, room temp
1/3 cup oil
1 egg 
1 T milk
1 tsp almond extract
1 2/3 cup flour (this is my favorite flour for baking)
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt (omit if butter is salted)

3 T melted chocolate
1/4 cup slivered almonds

In this recipe, I used coconut oil and since it is cold here the oil was solid. I melted it and then let it cool slightly before adding the egg. I also took the egg out earlier in the day so that it would be room temperature. When mixing ingredients for baked goods, I find that everything should be close in temperature or the ease of spreading in the pan may not be as effortless. 

Choose organic ingredients when possible. 

1. Grease and dust the cake pan with coconut oil and a a pinch of flour. 
2. Combine the first three ingredients in a mixer then add in the next three ingredients one at a time. 
3. Mix in the flour a half cup at a time then baking powder and finally if necessary, salt. 
4. The batter will be soft and non-sticky. No refrigeration required for this recipe. 
5. Using a silicone spatula, spread the batter into the prepared cake pan. It may seem that you don't have enough but you do. You will have enough batter to fill the cake pan with a thin even layer across.

6. Bake for 10 minutes. You may need an additional 2-4 minutes depending on your oven. You will be looking for brown edges and a light brown color across the top. If the edges are dark brown, it'll make for extra crunchy shortbread cookies. They're still delicious!!
7. Prepare melted chocolate while the shortbread cookies are cooling. If you don't already have chocolate spread (like this (most of these types have hazelnut but you may be able to find a plain cacao or cocoa)), you can take your favorite chocolate and melt a few squares with some coconut oil. One of my favorite brands of chocolate is this (ethically traded and non-GMO) or this one is also a great option and it's easier to find in big box stores (it's organic too). 
8. Let cookies cool in the pan at least 10 minutes before cutting. 
9. Slice cookies to the size you prefer and drizzle melted chocolate over each square. (You could drizzle first then cut as well.)
10. Then top each cookie with slivered almonds. You can make them neat for superbly awesome pictures for a blog or just neat enough to eat! =)

Joy Cookies - Almond, Chocolate YUM - #ConveyAwareness

Store prepared cookies in an airtight container for up to 3 days. You can also leave the prepared cookies in your cake pan and cover with foil. It'll be a lot easier to grab and go if you just roll back the corner of the foil. ;)

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Choose, eat, and live well! =)

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