Week 4, already. More cookies! Last week we made The Ischler and initially I really liked them but the next day, the cookie was soft, probably because of the lekvar filling, so I’m not thrilled with them anymore. But, these delicate Almond Coffee Crisps are a different story. The kicker on this recipe was that there wasn’t a picture of the finished cookies. One of the few recipes in the book that doesn’t have a picture. Talk about blind baking 🙂
There aren’t too many ingredients in the recipe and everything is mixed in the food processor. I hate using the food processor mainly because I absolutely despise cleaning it. I don’t have a dishwasher so I must wash everything by hand and, well, I don’t like the food processor, period. The first step in the recipe is to toast the almonds. I didn’t last week for those cookies but I decided that it’s better to follow Rose’s recipes exactly the first time and don’t stray one bit.
I have to admit that toasting the almonds did bring out so much more flavor. As I mixed them with the flour, the smell was amazing.
Next step was to put the sugar in the processor and add the butter 1 tablespoon at a time. By the time I got half way through the stick of butter, the processor didn’t want to cooperate with the mixing so I had to help it along by scraping the sides of the bowl before adding more butter. Actually, I thought the blade was going to jump out of the machine. After all the butter was incorporated along with the vanilla, I added the flour mixture and pulsed until just combined. This dough was very sticky! And buttery! Rose said to put the dough on a large piece of plastic wrap and knead it so that there were no visible pieces of butter. As I kneaded it, this sticky dough started to squish out of the plastic wrap. I divided the dough into thirds and wrapped it up, in more plastic wrap. (Maybe I should buy some stock in plastic wrap)
Next step was to roll the dough into 10 gram balls. That’s equal to about a teaspoon. I was so anal about this that I got out the scale and weighed every single one of those balls.
I placed the ball on the cookie sheet and smashed it down so that it was 1-3/4″ in diameter, exactly. I measured them 🙂 The first batch of the cookies were too close to each other on the cookie sheet.
This is where it got fun. Rose does say to space the cookies about 2-1/2″ apart and that’s for a reason. I learned my lesson last week about baking times so I watched these cookies bake. After 5 minutes, I rotated the baking sheet and set my timer for another 5 minutes. Rose said anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes. Well, after about 2 minutes, the cookies rose up then started to bubble and then flatten out, a lot! As I watched this I couldn’t help but ask myself why that happened. I didn’t want them to burn so I pulled the sheet from the oven as soon as they were flat.
I kept thinking about why they bubbled up and spread out so much so I Googled baking powder. Baking powder is just one of those ingredients you don’t think much about. If the recipe calls for it, you put it in not really knowing why. Baking powder, baking soda, what’s the difference? Baking soda needs an acid to create the reaction in the batter to make it rise and baking powder has the acid in it, cream of tartar, and once a liquid is added to the batter, the baking powder starts to create carbon dioxide gas which creates the bubbles especially once heat is added to the batter. I also found that there are different types of baking powder, some have aluminum in it some don’t, single-acting, double-acting, oh my. I used Rumford baking powder which doesn’t have the aluminum in it. This cookie dough really didn’t have a whole lot of moisture, just the butter, sugar mixture so I figured since there wasn’t much moisture, per se, the cookies bubbled quickly and flattened out. My first batch baked just a little too much and the bubbles actually popped, leaving holes in the cookies. Ooo, science! That’s why I like baking so much.
Once the cookies were done, it was time to sprinkle on the espresso powder. Rose suggested using a makeup brush and when I read that, I started laughing thinking, there’s no way I’m doing that. I don’t even wear makeup so no makeup brushes in this house. I just took a pinch of the powder and sprinkled it on the cookies.
These cookies were so good! Crisp, crunchy, espressoie, (if that’s a word), delicate and just down right tasty. I gave some to a couple friends and it was all I could do to keep them from taking the container from me. Great with chai tea, milk and yes a cup of coffee. I have some ganache left over from The Ischler cookies so I might try dipping a few of the crisps in it just for the hell of it. Then they could be called mocha java almond coffee crisps.