05 December 2010

An almond cookie...deconstructed

It never ceases to amaze me how something can be so good in theory, and yet so bad in practice.

I came across a lovely recipe for raspberry almond cookies here, and couldn't wait to try them.  It would also afford me the chance to brush up on my jam making skills, as I haven't been able to bring myself to buy store-bought jam since I learned how easy it is to make.  Add to that my life long affair with almonds (doesn't the word 'marzipan' even just sound beautiful?) and it was a no-brainer.

I added a bit of orange essence to the raspberry jam as it was happily bubbling away -- so it made sense to add a bit of freshly grated orange zest to the cookie recipe.  Not too scary, just a little extra zing....and since I had already deviated from said recipe, why not take it one step further and add a good scoop of ground almonds as well?  As I said, I've never met an almond I didn't like,  so it seemed only natural.  That, my lovelies, is when it started to go pear-shaped.

Now, maybe if I had stopped my fiddling there I would have been ok -- but I had come across some misplaced confidence.  I decided I would substitute half the flour with ground almonds.  Oh my.
This just would not do.  As is so common in circumstances such as this, the flavour was heavenly -- if you didn't mind scraping your 'cookie' off a flat surface with a butter knife.  And while I do have an affinity for ugly vegetables, this affinity does not expand into baked goods.  I like my cookies pretty, like jam.  They should be as easy on the eyes as they are on the taste buds.

Fortunately it didn't take too much tinkering to come right again with the proper flour/ground almond/sugar ratios and they turned out to be, if not pretty & delicious--at the very least--cute & tasty.  With a dusting of green coloured sugar crystals they will make the perfect plate of cookies to leave out for Santa on Christmas Eve.....

Orasamond Cookies

    * 1 cup Butter
    * 2/3 cups Granulated Sugar
    * 2 cups Flour
    * 1/2 cup Ground Almonds
    * ½ teaspoons Almond Extract Or Vanilla Extract
    * 1 tsp finely grated orange zest
    * Raspberry Jam (of course your own favourite fruit jam would also work!)
    * 1 cup Powdered Sugar
    * 1 Tablespoon Water

Cream together 1 cup butter with 2/3 cup granulated sugar. Mix in flour, ground almond, orange zest
and extract.  Scoop out a spoonful of the mixture and shape into balls. (The mixture will just barely come together)
Put each ball onto cookie sheet and press thumb into each one to make an indention.
Put as much jam as you can put into each thumbprint.
Bake 14-18 minutes at 350°f/180°c/Gas Mark 4.
Once cookies are cooled mix together powdered sugar
and water and drizzle onto the cookies.


  1. Dana, I think you and I have similar likes. I adore almond and I often find myself tossing citrus zest into jams or baked goods. Thanks, too, for sharing your flop. It's always fun to read about what someone tried that didn't work -- and it stops me from making the same mistake! Nice post. :-)

  2. Dana, I'm very slow on uptakes and following links but I guess I'm in your blog. The mon that made no mistake made nuttin lol. But they tasted grand?