Imagine these tucked into your Easter basket.
Easter may be all about chocolate eggs and marshmallow Peeps. But I think it should be about cookies.
But then again, I think every day should be a cookie day.
And this cookie has it all: A twinkle of color in keeping with that festive holiday. Chocolate for tradition’s sake. And almonds for their symbolic promise of hope.
“Big White Chocolate, Almond and Cherry Cookies” is a recipe by Pastry Chef Joanne Chang that was originally published in the December 2013 issue of Food & Wine magazine. The recipe by the chef-proprietor of Flour Bakery in Boston was originally called “Big White Chocolate, Almond and Cranberry Cookies,” but I substituted dried cherries for the dried cranberries to make it more appropriate for this time of year.
The recipe uses three different flours — all-purpose, bread and almond. They give the cookie great texture. They are thin and crisp on the edges,, but stay thick, soft and chewy in the centers. The white chocolate gives the cookies a good measure of sweetness, the cherries add a subtle fruity tang and the almonds a lovely crunch. It’s a cookie that hits all the notes.
The upside to working from home?
The fact that you can do a load of laundry, braise a pot of lamb shanks in the oven, and crank out a lengthy magazine story simultaneously.
The temptation to snack. After all, food is just too darn convenient when you work just steps from your kitchen.
Fortunately, one of the things I most find myself noshing on are almonds. I often grab a handful to munch just before I hit the computer or the gym. High in fiber and protein, they actually make for a nutritious snack so my pangs of guilt are at least lessened.
That’s what I tell myself, too, when I find myself reaching for another “Cinnamon Almond Wafer.” They’re strewn with almonds, so they must be good for me, even if they’re cookies, right? Uh, huh.
The recipe is from “The Gourmet Cookie Book” (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), of which I received a copy when it debuted in 2010. These cookies couldn’t be easier to make. They have the tender texture of a rolled-out sugar cookie. But they’re far easier to make because you pat out the dough (no rolling pin needed) and bake it in one big rectangle (no cookie cutters necessary). After pulling the pan out of the oven, you cut the rectangle into wafer-size pieces while still warm.
The cookies are covered in sliced almonds and a profusion of cinnamon sugar. There’s so much cinnamon and almond going on that my husband’s Persian-American colleague said they reminded him of Middle Eastern pastries. I upped the almond factor, too, by adding a dash of almond extract.