Easy Cinnamon Almond Wafers and A Food Gal Giveaway

These super simple cookies are showered with almonds and cinnamon sugar. (Photo by Carolyn Jung)

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 downside?

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.

They’re the perfect cookie to enjoy on National Almond Day on Feb. 16 — or any day you feel in the mood to be a whole lot of nutty.

CONTEST: In honor of National Almond Day, the Almond Board of California is graciously allowing me to do a giveaway. And what a prize it is. (I know, because I got one myself to check out.) The Almond Board has stuffed a stylish (orange and toasted almond-colored) tote bag with whole almonds, sliced almonds, almond butter, almond flour, almond snack packs and cute little tins to conveniently hold a few almonds in your purse, car or desk drawer for whenever the urge strikes.

Your chance to win all of this from the Almond Board of California. (Photo courtesy of the Almond Board)

The contest is open only to those in the continental United States. Entries will be accepted through midnight PST Feb. 17. Winner will be announced on Feb. 19.

How to win?

Tell me something nutty that you’ve done that you kick yourself for now.

Here’s my own response:

“When I moved back to the Bay Area after working for four years in South Florida, I definitely got sticker-shock when renting an apartment on the Peninsula. My parents did, too. In fact, they offered to help me buy a condo instead, with them fronting the down payment in order for me to assume the monthly mortgage payments. But stubborn me, who didn’t want to be so beholden to my parents, turned down their generous offer. Instead, I continued to pay rent, which soon turned quite exorbitant when the dot-com boom hit, driving up real estate and rental prices to stratospheric levels. Of course, I do kick myself now, realizing how affordable condo prices were way back then, and how much they eventually skyrocketed in value. Sigh. What a good investment that would have made. I guess I’ll just drown my sorrows in a plate of cinnamon almond wafers now.”

Cinnamon Almond Wafers

(Makes about 50 wafers)

1 3/4 sticks (3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened

1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

1 teaspoon grated fresh lemon zest

1/2 teaspoon almond extract (optional)

1 large egg, lightly beaten

2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour

2/3 cup sliced almonds

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a bowl with an electric mixer, cream the butter with the brown sugar, the zest, and 1 tablespoon of the egg until the mixture is light and fluffy. Stir in almond extract, if using, then the flour.

On a lightly buttered baking sheet (or one lined with parchment or a Silpat sheet), pat the dough into a 14-by-10-inch rectangle, brush it with remaining egg, and sprinkle it evenly with the almonds.

In a small bowl, stir together the granulated sugar and the cinnamon and sprinkle the mixture evenly over the almonds. Bake the pastry in the middle of the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until it is golden. While it is still hot, cut it into 2-by-1-inch wafers. Transfer wafers to racks and let them cool.

Adapted from “The Gourmet Cookie Book”

More Delicious Recipes with Almonds: Cocoa-Marzipan Pound Cake by David Lebovitz

And: Two Types of Chinese Almond Cookies

And: Brown Sugar and Almond Biscotti

And: Lemon Ricotta Muffins

And: Almond Tart with Mirabelle Cream

And: Pumpkin Almond Cake with Almond Butter Frosting

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  • Wonderful wafers! I am a big eater of almonds. They taste so good and are really versatile.



  • Back in 2002, I was commuting to Durham for work. I had a dentist appointment and I was running late. Dummy me, decided that it was nice and sunny out and not too many cars were around and was speeding. I passed this Carolina blue Ford Taurus and not too long after that, I see these blue flashing lights behind me that would have made K-mart’s “Blue light special” proud!

    The detective that pulled me over goes, “Son, What in the world are you doing driving 100mph on this highway? Did you know about a mile down, traffic is backed up?” My response? The best I could come up with was, “Just stupid, Sir! Just plain stupid!”

    You can tell he was a bit surprised my my response, but had to give me the ticket. He didn’t really even seemed like he wanted to either, but I didn’t exactly give him a choice! He was nice though, he wrote it for “Careless and wreckless driving” so that I didn’t automatically lose my license.

    What’s nuts is that even with the traffic stop, the traffic up ahead, I was only 10 mins late to my dentist appointment!

    I then compounded it by not hiring a lawyer that specializes in traffic tickets and he couldn’t really do anything. So, I ended up pleading guilty!

    Here’s why I regret it so much though! At the time, I was under my parent’s car insurance! Because of this ticket, I had to get my own insurance to not mess up their rates. So I went from not paying for insurance to paying my own at $495/6 months! On top of that I had to pay the lawyer $300 for basically doing nothing but go to court to plead guilty for me! 3 years later, when the points were coming off my record, the rate didn’t go down all that much either!So yea, that was one expensive ticket—sadly one that I’m still continuing to pay for! lol 😛

  • Years ago…I was hanging at a local dive bar playing pool with my friends. They had the best cheap lunch specials for the young starving college student. Lol. One day…a few guys walked in and offered everyone to buy some shares in their brand new start from the ground brewing company. They were having a few drinks and rolling out some great jokes. So everyone who knew them were buying shares and had told me to invest. I had a couple thousand in the bank, but that’s all the money I had to my name. So….the little voice inside said if I joined in and the company flops…I just might end up in the streets so I declined. Sooooo….a few years down the road….the Boulevard Brewing Company in Kansas City turned out to be a success! The people who joined in early on made their money and then some!! Who would have thought a brand new brewery could be an instinct success!! Lol.

  • This experience is so nutty I’m a little conflicted publicizing it on the web. But with almonds on the table (or, as my grandmother would say, “ahhhmands”), I’m putting it all out there.

    Several years ago my husband, Chris, and I were living in the midwest. We were fortunate enough to experience our first White Christmas, which I found absolutely charming, but it meant we had to deal with the many burdens of snow and snow removal.

    Just after the holiday, I was cleaning the sofa in the family room when I found a holiday Nerd (yes, the candy) under a couch cushion. These red, white and green Nerds have been a staple in my husband’s stocking for as long as I can remember. Looking at Chris, I declared, “LOOK! A NERD!” as I threateningly moved the candy closer to my mouth. Chris, apparently no stranger to my eating things out of the couch, just looked at me. “Don’t do it,” he warned dully, without much conviction.

    I did it.

    About two seconds later, my mouth was on fire and a numbing sensation was beginning to spread across my tongue. “OHHHHMYYYGAAAABBB!” I gurgled. “ISSSSNAAAAHAHHNERRRRD.”

    Turns out it wasn’t, in fact, a Nerd. It was a chemical pellet used to de-ice the walk that had made its way into the house. SO STUPID.

    Clearly, I lived through the experience to tell it today, but the lesson was fast learned: when eating holiday Nerds from the couch, only go for the red or green ones.

    Talk about nutty.

  • I don’t understand it, Carolyn. If I lived at home and did these things, I would weigh about 300 within a few weeks.
    I didn’t realize that Gourmet had published the cookie book. Having finally parted with about thirty years of Gourmet in the binders and all perhaps a decade ago, I went on line and downloaded most of their cookie recipes. The Christmas issue with German cookies (one I kept) has some to the truest recipes I have seen in this country, so the cookie book will probably get some of the very limited space on my shelves. (two rooms of cook books, fewer new ones). Thanks for the heads up.

  • What a great looking cookie! I have that cookie book – everything in it is a winner. And I didn’t know you ever lived in Florida – we lived in Tampa for years, before moving to St. Louis.

  • These cookies look great…like the idea of almond and cinnamon on it. It would be lovely to enjoy these cookies with a cup of coffee.
    Hope you are having a wonderful week Carolyn!

  • Let me set the scene. It was the summer I turned 13, and my parents allowed me to go on a three-week-long trip with my then-best-friend Jenny and her cool European dad and step-mom. We were scheduled to camp in Banff National Park in Canada, and then sail to Alaska. Alaska!! I had never been there and was dying to go. I felt so grown-up and proud that my parents trusted me to go on this adventure (with someone else’s parental supervision, of course), and I was so excited.

    After the Canadian leg of the trip, we went to a barbecue at the home of some friends of Jenny’s parents outside Seattle (the boat to Alaska was set to leave from there). These friends a lovely home, with a huge deck (where they were grilling and everyone was relaxing) overlooking a beautiful backyard. Part of the deck overhung the back driveway, which was made of asphalt.

    To this day, what happened next haunts me. I was wanting to impress the other guests, and so I decided to show them some moves from the gymnastics routine I had been practicing in my gymnastics classes before we left for the trip. Using the deck railing as a “balance beam,” I proceeded to execute a series of daredevil moves, and on the last one, I fell off the railing and directly onto the asphalt driveway below.

    My elbow dislocated and broke in three places. Thank goodness for that parental supervision — the adults drove me to the emergency room, and I spent the next several weeks in the hospital in Washington, rather than sailing to (or exploring) Alaska.

    To this day I’ve never had another opportunity to go to that wild land of polar bears, igloos, and my favorite sitcom “Northern Exposure.” I did learn a valuable lesson about showing off, but I still kick myself every time I think of the moment I swung my legs up onto that deck railing and simultaneously threw away the rest of this once-in-a-lifetime trip.

    The almond wafers look amazing and I am a HUGE almond fan. I’d love to win this gift basket; thanks for hosting!!

  • My nutty idea was to move across the country straight out of high school to new york city where i knew no one to attend a pretigious design school and pursue my dreams.
    Fifteen years later i have an awesome close group of friends, i am professionally sucessful and still occassionally take nutty risks that i am waiting to see if they work out….

  • I did my really nutty thing back in 1976 and my mother still gives me grief about it. I had been married 2 years and we were planning on moving out of Louisiana to New Mexico. We didn’t have jobs nor a place to live once we got to New Mexico, but we were determined to move. In order to afford the move, we held a garage sale and sold a good many of our wedding presents which consisted of a lot of items made of lead crystal and silver (things we would never use). Not really knowing the value, we sold these items for almost nothing. We got the $350 we needed to rent the moving van and make it to New Mexico, but if had held on to those items, we would definitely have made 10 times that much or more today. Of course if we hadn’t sold them, I don’t think we could have afforded the move for at least another year.

    I can definitely relate to the snacking that goes on when you work from home. My husband and I both work from home so we have to be very careful not to snack too much. However, I wouldn’t trade out working from home for anything in the world. 🙂

  • i passed up a chance to make scones on camera for a local tv station. i totally chickened out, and for all i know, that could’ve been my big break. yep, this gal’s belly is yellow. 🙂

  • I have not been taking good care of my teeth and just paid more than $500 today paying for it!

  • During college I didn’t have a job. I worked hard at school, earning a 4.0, but now I have no money to pay back the loans.

    katherinedibello (at) gmail (dot) com

  • I was a working mother with three small children. After long days giving and managing patient care at a large public hospital, then enduring rush hour traffic, I would arrive home to care for my family. After dealing with my children’s immediate needs I would prepare dinner and try to find time to give my husband some attention. It was often 10 PM before I had time to take a breath or deal with special tasks. January was and still is an especially busy month in my house. Four of the five members of my household had birthdays in January and I liked to give them all birthday parties (including my husband). Each of the two children with January birthdays got three birthday cakes; one for school, one for a party of their friends, and one for a family party. That’s a lot of cakes!

    Now, before I disclose my nutty story, I should make clear that I am a very good baker. During my child rearing days I studied baking from a Danish pastry chef. More recently I interned for two years as a pastry chef after retiring from the hospital. My grown middle daughter and I even won an NPR pie contest.

    Now onto the nuttiness. Sometime in the dark early hours of a new day, when I was alone in the kitchen with just the sound of an occasional bird and Led Zeppelin on CD, I was making my son a chocolate cake for his party of just a few hours hence. There was no time for sleep. When the twenty nursery school children and their mothers arrived, the house was clean and decorated, the cake ready and I put on my calm and smiling Martha Stewart act.

    The party went well. There did not seem to be the expected amount of mayhem caused by twenty small male wild children. My husband noted the relaxing atmosphere of the party, and when returning to collect their children, so did some of the parents who were surprised to find their offspring had not burned the house down.

    Later that evening, I was cleaning the kitchen when I came to the part of the counter by the sink that supported the remainder of the ingredients used to bake the cake. There was the large flour canister, baking chocolate wrappers, bowl with raw egg coating, sugar, empty buttermilk container, dirty mixing bowls, dirty spatulas, cake decorating supplies and something unexpected. I screamed loud enough to bring my husband running. There, in the middle of the previous night’s cooking remnants, in place of the vanilla, was a large part empty bottle of cough medicine with codeine.

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