Wednesday, August 17, 2011

One Post, Two Cookies!

I didn't know which of these two types of cookie I wanted to talk about more today, so I just decided to do a two for one today and talk about both! Each cookie is delicious in its own way; your preference would probably be dictated by what kind of mood you're in, or if you prefer chocolate and nutty to smooth and full of cinnamon.

The first cookie, the Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie, is actually adapted from a Cat Cora cookie recipe. Hers is called the Peanutter Cookie, and is made with crunchy peanut butter and salted cocktail peanuts. That sounds amazing, naturally, but I thought I'd try an almond butter variation. I swapped smooth almond butter for the peanut butter, and threw in raw almonds in place of the peanuts. These were super delish! I wouldn't go so far as to say they are healthy cookies, but they certainly did taste a little less guilty than the peanut butter counterpart would. The almond butter is a much more subtle flavor than peanut butter, so the chocolate and chopped nuts really have a chance to shine through. I also added a bit of ground cinnamon, as I think this enhanced the overall taste.

The Snickerdoodle cookies I made are oldies but goodies. I make these at Christmas time each year, and since they are among my son's favorite treats I thought it would be nice to make them for his birthday party. I learned something about cream of tartar that I never knew before. I was confused by the lack of it in this version of the Snickerdoodle recipe (from Martha Stewart). I always associated cream of tartar with this cookie, but it turns out that you only need it if you are using baking soda as the leavener. If you use baking powder, on the other hand, the cream of tartar becomes unnecessary. It has something to do with the chemical reactions, etc. needed to make the cookie rise enough. So, I learned something new while baking these cookies!

Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
adapted from Cat Cora's Classics with a Twist
makes 36 cookies

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. kosher salt
12 Tbsp. (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup almond butter, crunchy or smooth (or crunchy/smooth peanut butter)
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips, preferably 3/4 cup each milk chocolate and semisweet
1 cup coarsely chopped raw almonds (or salted cocktail peanuts)

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Position the oven racks in the middle and upper third. Spray two baking sheets with nonstick cooking spray or line with parchment paper.

2. Whisk the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt in a small bowl and set aside. Beat the butter, almond butter, both sugars, and vanilla extract in a large bowl until creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. On low speed, add the flour mixture in two batches, beating after each addition. When all the dry ingredients have been beaten in, stir in the chocolate chips and chopped almonds with a wooden spoon.

3. Drop the dough by rounded teaspoons onto the baking sheets, about 2 inches apart. Bake for 11 to 12 minutes, switching the baking sheets halfway through the baking time and rotating them 180 degrees, until the cookies are light golden. Let them sit on the baking sheets for a minute, then transfer to a rack to cool. Cookies will keep for 3 to 4 days in an airtight container.

adapted from Martha Stewart's Cookies
makes 18-20 large cookies

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. coarse salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups plus 2 Tbsp. sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt into a bowl. Put butter and 1 1/2 cups sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Mix in eggs. Reduce speed to low; gradually mix in flour mixture.

2. Stir together cinnamon and remaining 2 Tbsp. sugar in a small bowl. Shape dough into large balls, using a large cookie scoop. Roll in cinnamon sugar. Space 3 inches apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper.

3. Bake cookies, rotating sheets halfway through, until edges are golden, 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool on sheets on wire racks for about 5 minutes before transferring to the racks to cool completely. Cookies can be stored between layers of parchment in airtight containers at room temperature for up to 3 days.

1 comment:

  1. The almond butter chocolate chip cookie sounds delicious to me! I love your adaptation.