nesting * geeking * critiquing

Cookie Corner: Almond Sugar Cookies

Welcome, friends, to the first installment of Cookie Corner, wherein I will bake cookies (duh) and tell you how delicious they are… or how disappointing.  I can hold my own with baking, but I’m not perfect so it’s a crapshoot either way.

When I was a kid who wanted to bake cookies, I turned to my mom’s recipe box.  Good stuff made even easier when I realized her go-to chocolate chip cookies were the same recipe from the chocolate chip bag with butter-flavored Crisco substituted for the butter.

In my early twenties, I discovered America’s Test Kitchen and started using their recipes.  Good stuff made more difficult by virtue of the fact that all of their recipes are awesome but take for-ev-er.

Over the last few years, I’ve turned to the internet at large to search for recipes with decent reviews.  That, however, was too much work.  Now I just go to Pinterest and hope the end result lives up to the picture.  So, let’s get to it.

Almond Sugar Cookies

Oh. My. Word.  These are truly amazing!

Click here to link to the original recipe; keep reading to see how I did it.

1 1/2 C white sugar

2/3 C butter (cold)

2/3 C shortening (room temp)

2 eggs

2 tsp almond extract

2 1/2 C cake flour**

1 C all purpose flour

2 tsp cornstarch

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

sugar in the raw

 **I didn’t have any cake flour on hand, so I followed this easy substitution tip:

1 cup cake flour = 1 cup all-purpose flour minus 2 tablespoons,  plus 2 tbsp cornstarch

This worked really well—when I scooped out the 5 tablespoons (2 tbsp per cup plus 1 tbsp for the half cup), I just dumped it into an extra measuring cup that I topped off for the one cup of all-purpose flour that’s called for.  No waste.

The extra cornstarch (also 5 tablespoons for this particular recipe) provided even more support for the cookie, yielding a delightful dense-yet-crumby texture. Sounds like an oxymoron, I know, but did you see my picture?!?!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line baking sheet with parchment paper.  Alternately, you could use nonstick cooking spray, but I prefer parchment paper.

Combine flour, cornstarch, baking powder and salt in a separate bowl; set aside.

Cream sugar, butter and shortening.  Add eggs and almond extract.  Mix in the flour concoction you set aside earlier.

Form dough into walnut-sized balls and roll in raw sugar.

Bake for 4 minutes.  Open oven and quickly press each cookie to desired thickness (I used the flat side of an angled spatula).  Bake for additional 4 minutes (8 minutes total).

Allow to cool completely.

A few tips from the original recipe that I wholly endorse:

~Flatten the cookies mid-bake, because the cornstarch will keep them from spreading.  You don’t want to end up with baked dough balls.

~DO NOT bake longer than 8 minutes!!  They may seem under-baked, but will firm up as they cool.

I’m thinking about modifying this recipe to use vanilla extract instead of almond, add a dash of cream of tartar and roll in cinnamon sugar.  Could be an awesome substitute for snickerdoodles.

Enjoy!

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