If I yelled hello it would echo. Hear it? It’s a tiny echo from this deep dark hole of job transition and packing that has swallowed me up for the past few weeks. It’s an okay hole. I’ll be out of it soon. But right now it has taken me over.
I’ve never made a big move or transition right at Christmas time before. It’s exciting to imagine the coming New Year as a true new beginning, but I am really missing Christmas. Fortunately, we’ll spend some time with family before the official move so even if there are none at our house, I see lights, trees, snowmen and cookies in our future.
Ah, cookies. This year there won’t be many made by me, but before I packed the the baking sheets, I did manage to make just a few for a cookie exchange with a friend.
I had lots of smoked almonds left over from the Almond Goat Cheese Scoops, and even some matcha from these Matcha Tea Cookies with Gooseberry Filling, so I tried combining them for what turned out to be my new favorite cookie. They are much like a shortbread or sandie cookie, and the matcha adds a light green color making them even more festive.
I always like to warn you when a recipe calls for refrigeration. I’m notorious for getting all excited to quickly make a cookie and realize later that I didn’t pay close enough attention to the fact that the dough needs to be refrigerated! So plan ahead with these, they will need to firm up for 3 to 4 hours in the fridge.
Smoked Almond Matcha Tea Cookies Recipe
Makes: About 2 dozen cookies
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
⅓ cup Demerara or other raw sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp almond extract
½ tsp Matcha tea powder
¼ tsp fine ground sea salt
2 ¼ cups unbleached all purpose flour
½ cup smoked almonds, crushed
In the bowl of a mixer, beat the butter and sugar for 60 to 90 seconds. I usually add extra time when working with raw sugar to help it combine better with the butter.
Add the egg and beat for about 30 seconds. Add the almond extract and tea powder and mix just until the powder is incorporated.
Add the salt. Next add the flour a little at a time while mixing on low and scraping the sides of the bowl until a dough is formed.
Divide the nuts in half, and spread each portion out on a large piece of plastic wrap. Divide the cookie dough in half. Take one half and roll it into an even log shape. Adjust the size to how big you would like your cookies to be. Mine had about a 2 inch circumference. Roll it in the nuts to coat the outside, and then wrap it tightly with the plastic wrap.
Repeat the process with the other half of dough. Refrigerate the dough until very firm, about 3 to 4 hours or leave it overnight.
When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Slice the cookies about ¼ to ⅓ inch thick and place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 7 to 8 minutes, or just until the edges begin to brown. Allow to cool about 1 to 2 minutes on the tray and then transfer to a cooking rack. Makes about 2 dozen.
My plan was to have all kinds of holiday posts for you this month, but unfortunately it’s just not meant to be. Now I’m at the point where all my cooking and baking gear needs to make its way to boxes, so this will be my last recipe post for 2012.
I have lots of travel eats to share as I’ve now been out to the East Bay 3 times this year and we are preparing for our second cross-country trip. If time allows, I’ll stop back in to at least share some good food.
I’ll see you in 2013 with all kinds of new adventures!
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
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