Friday, December 31, 2010

52 Cookies - Chapter 52

I have come to the end of the road.  My Cookie Journey ceases to continue after today.  Or does it really?  When I set off on my Cookie Journey in the first week of January 2010, my intent was to make a dent in the obscene collection of recipes that I have been hoarding.  My intent was to branch out and try some new techniques and some new flavors.  I accomplished that task.  Some were hits and some were misses. 

It was hard to record the misses. 

It was a joy to share the hits!

Throughout all of this, though, I have found that there will always be new recipes and it will never be possible to bake every single one of them.

I promised last week to share the final chapter with you early enough in the week so that you could bake them for a New Year's gathering.  I didn't lie to you when I said that.  Very simply, life became more important than baking cookies.  After two straight days away from the house visiting family for Christmas celebrations, Jenna became ill and needed some TLC, not to mention, that laundry that had piled up and generally getting the house back into some kind of order.  And.  Let's face it.  After baking cookie after cookie after stinkin' cookie, I was in no big hurry to bake, yet more cookies.

Here is the very last cookie of the year.  I hope you have enjoyed travelling along with me throughout the last 52 weeks.  It has been an adventure.  It has been yummy.  And at times, it has been a part-time job!

Happy New Year!

Here's What You'll Need:
1 cup slivered blanched almonds
1/2 cup sugar
4 Tablespoons butter, cut up into pieces
2 Tablespoons light corn syrup
2 Tablespoons heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled to room temperature

Here's What You Do:
In a food processor, process the almonds and sugar until finely ground.
In a small saucepan, mix together the almond/sugar mixture with the butter, corn syrup, cream, vanilla, and salt. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the butter is melted and the sugar is dissolved.  This should take about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove the pan from heat and stir in the flour.  Pour the mixture into a small bowl and refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.
Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Line your cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Roll teaspoons of dough into balls and place them on a baking sheet.  Space the balls of dough 3 inches apart. With damp fingertips, gently flatten the balls to about a  ¼-inch thickness.  Bake the cookies one cookie sheet at a time for about 7 to 9 minutes.  Cool for 1 minute on the baking sheet, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

When they first come out of the oven, they'll look like something went terribly wrong.  They will look like cookies that missed a major ingredient or baked too long, or something. 
Spread the bottoms of each cookie with the chocolate and place them in the fridge for the chocolate to set.  These are a delicate and fussy cookie.  I dropped one when I was spreading on the melted chocolate and the darn thing shattered into a million little pieces all over the kitchen floor!  This recipe comes courtesy of Real Simple magazine

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