Almond Sugar Cookies

Dessert, Food, Food Photography, Recipes

//UPDATE// 1/8//  With no school, no work, public transportation closed, and a ban on driving in effect, Jacob and I are enjoying our first blizzard warm and cozy at home. After a morning full of homework for the hubs, and cleaning for me, this snowy day at home left me hankering for a sweet snack. Craving something light to pair with my afternoon tea, I decided to try a guilt-free rendition of this sweet treat. I replaced the shortening and butter with coconut oil, using 1/2 cup coconut oil total for my fat,  and reduced the sugar to a 1/2 cup. The texture of the dough turned out significantly different, but the final product did not disappoint. Though not quite the same texture as the original recipe, these small changes still produced a moist and desirable treat. I did not chill the dough as you’ll need to with the original recipe, and you might have to work the dough a bit to get it to stay together. Don’t worry if your mixture doesn’t hold together well when mixed. With a bit of molding you should have no problem forming your dough into balls. I also skipped rolling my dough in sugar as I did not trust it to stay together and instead sprinkled a bit of raw sugar on top before placing them in the oven. Bake for 8 minutes, and enjoy one or two. Don’t worry about grabbing that second one, they’re only 98 calories per cookie and 7 grams of delicious, healthy fat! 

This time last year our apartment was in a complete state of chaos. The renovations that were to be completed prior to our September 1st move in date didn’t really begin until around now.  We had no other choice but to deal with the madness well into March. For weeks the kitchen was stripped from my use. There was no place to play. No place to escape after a long day of work. I was becoming very restless. Then, one glorious day, our kitchen was complete, and not long after, so was the rest of our apartment. Finally, our apartment felt like a home again.  I remember how excited I was to finally be able to host our first dinner party on Easter last year, a whole eight months after we had moved into our little abode.

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To make up for lost time, dinner parties have become a regular occurrence in our household. Whether it be a well planned affair or a last minute fling, what better way to try out a new, tasty dish than with friends? And on top of that, it’s a great excuse to bake, something that I no longer allow myself to do often. Not unless we plan to have company, or are having dinner elsewhere.  A lesson I learned the hard way. Dessert for 10 consumed by 2 was not friendly to my waistline…

After an unsuccessful trip to the grocery store on Thursday evening for a last minute dinner on Friday, I had to do some serious digging through our bare cabinets for dessert inspiration. I had my hopes set on trying this cheesecake recipe, but since Traders was out of Ginger Beer, and I forgot to pick up a bag of chocolate chips to make these cookies, I had to make due with what I already had on hand. Stumbling across some almond extract hidden in the back of my cabinet, and remembering this recipe that I pinned months ago, I had my inspiration.

Shortening, while baking, can be your best friend. It yields some delectable results. Although, when trying to snap yourself out of holiday eating mode (and with Valentine’s Day just around the corner to tempt us), shortening may be your worst enemy. Unlike some other cooking oils, shortening has zero health benefits. I am okay with indulging every now and then in the sweets category, but knowing me and anything almond, I knew that I better try and make these slightly healthier. And good thing that I did—I consumed four of these babies on Friday night.

Unaware of how the consistency would turn out with a total lack of shortening, and because I was low on coconut oil, I did keep one tablespoon for safe measure. I also didn’t omit the butter. I wasn’t brave enough to totally do away with the butter just yet. Though, I am looking forward to trying these again with coconut oil only, and possibly with a bit less sugar.

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Almond Sugar Cookies: 

3/4 cup white sugar

1/4 cup coconut oil, room temperature

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold

1 tbsp shortening, room temperature

1 egg

1 teaspoon almond extract

1  3/4 cup all purpose flour

1/2 tablespoon cornstarch

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

Coarse sugar

Preheat your oven to 350 and grease a large baking sheeting with coconut oil. Meanwhile, cream coconut oil, butter, shortening, and sugar. Stir in egg and almond extract.

In a separate bowl, sift together flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt. Add to the wet mixture and combine thoroughly.

Chill dough for half an hour. After your dough has chilled, use a tablespoon to roll dough into 1.5 inch balls. Roll each ball into coarse sugar before placing it on your  baking sheet.

Bake for 8 minutes and then allow cookies to cool for 3 minutes on baking sheet before transferring to cooling rack. Recipe yields about 16 cookies.

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