Back about a month ago, Jeff and I spent an entire Sunday in the kitchen cooking. We like to make a few meals ahead of time since we tend to work late during the week. It is so much easier reheating a meal in 15-20 minutes VS creating a meal from scratch which can take at least an hour. If we can cook one additional meal on a Sunday then we get to relax when we come home rather than start in the frenzy of meal cooking.
Being almost empty nesters, we have the urge to go out to dinner but I do like a home cooked meal and that was one thing we did when our kids were living at home. If Jeff starts cooking, I normally take out a pound of butter and look for some quick desserts to have during the week. Most times I like cookies because they are easy to eat and very easy to freeze. There are times I wonder whether a cookie blog would be better than a cooking and baking blog. I guess I don't want to think I can only discuss cookies. As much as they are a favorite for most, some people would get bored with just cookies.
Jeff recently bought a number of cookbooks and one of them was Martha Stewart's One Pot. We have made a few recipes from the book and there were a few (like 10 out of 120 recipes) dessert recipes at the back. This recipe is an american version of an Italian dessert called Sbrisolona. Sbrisolona is a crunchy cookie made with cornmeal, almonds and a slight touch of lemon. As I read more about the sbrisolona, I realized the two were totally different. This almond crumble cookie tastes more like a real good butter cookie. There is definitely a nutty flavor to it, but I kept thinking it might taste good with a hint of lemon, orange or raspberry. There is no cornmeal or lemon in this recipe, which I think could change the flavor to the entire cookie. The sbrisolona also has coarsely chopped almonds vs finely ground almonds. Needless to say, you may see me making the sbrisolona.
This almond crumble cookie was very easy to make and was perfect as our dessert for the week. It had that buttery, melt in your mouth, texture with a slightly nutty flavor, very similar to a shortbread cookie. I want to make this recipe again and add a hint of flavor. I was thinking maybe adding some raspberry jam and orange rind. I kept thinking that you could probably use any type of nut, too, for a different flavor.
As I broke the cookie into pieces, the crumbs were perfect on a dish of ice cream. Jeff would tell you vanilla ice cream, I would say chocolate or coffee. Oh, the battle of the ice cream flavors.
If you are looking for a buttery cookie that would pair well with coffee, tea or just an afternoon dessert, this is perfect. Almond Crumble Cookie - YUM!
Ingredients for Almond Crumble Cookie (adapted from Martha Stewart)
- 1-3/4 sticks of butter (14 tablespoons total), softened
- 1-1/4 cups of flour
- 1-1/2 cups of almonds, finely ground (measure almonds, then grind)
- 3/4 cup of sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher or coarse salt
- 1-1/2 teaspoons of vanilla
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and butter a 10 inch springform pan. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, ground almonds, sugar, salt and vanilla.
3. Using a pastry blender, cut the butter into the dry mix until incorporated and you have pea size clumps.
4. Gently press 3/4 of the mixture into the springfoam pan. Then sprinkle the remaining crumbs on the top.
5. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes until it begins to look slightly golden.
6. Reduce the heat to 300 degrees and cook for an additional 10 minutes until it is golden brown.
7. Remove from oven and cool on a baking rack in the pan for 10 minutes.
8. Remove from the pan and slice or break into pieces.
Serves 10-12 people.