The winter holidays and baking go hand in hand, and almonds – in all of their tasty forms – are the perfect ingredient for any festive affair. Whether hosting your own cookie exchange party or attending the annual office mixer, Twelve Days of Cookies, the new holiday guide from Almond Board of California, is designed to help manage the busiest of baking seasons and is available free at www.almondboard.com/holidaybaking
The colour guide features a generous baker’s dozen (14) cookie recipes and tempting photography, from classic Almond Crunch cookies to modern, gluten-free treats. In addition, savvy tips for successful baking and ideas for planning the perfect holiday cookie party round out the downloadable – and printable – guide. Here’s just one of the new recipes from the guide designed to help make this a tasty holiday:
Pumpkin Almond Chocolate Chip Cookies
These airy cookies are the perfect match to a cup of hot chocolate or coffee. Their texture is tender and muffin-like, and for an even crispier exterior, use all brown sugar and bake a few minutes longer. For a super-fluffy crumb, use pumpkin puree without reducing. This recipe yields about 6 dozen cookies.
2 1/2 cups (625 mL) flour
1 tsp (5 mL) baking soda
1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
1 tsp (5 mL) nutmeg
1 tsp (5 mL) cinnamon or 2 tsp (10 mL) pumpkin pie spice
1/2 cup (125 mL) butter
1/2 cup (125 mL) almond butter
1 cup (250 mL) sugar
1/2 cup (125 mL) brown sugar
1 cup (250 mL) reduced pumpkin puree or pumpkin butter(i)
1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla
1/2 cup (125 mL) diced almonds, toasted
1 cup (250 mL) chocolate chips
In a medium bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, salt and spices and set aside.
In a large bowl of an electric mixer, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg, pumpkin and vanilla and mix until just combined. On medium-low speed, add flour mixture until fully incorporated. Remove bowl from mixer and stir in almonds and chocolate chips.
Drop by teaspoonfuls onto a greased or lined cookie sheet and flatten slightly with the back of a spatula. Bake at 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) for 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.
(i)To make pumpkin butter, reduce pumpkin puree in a pan over medium heat, stirring frequently, for at least an hour, until colour becomes a deep brown. Packaged pumpkin butter may contain additional sweeteners and flavours; so adjust recipe to taste.
For more information on the Almond Board of California or almonds, visit www.AlmondBoard.com.