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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

almond and bittersweet chocolate nugget cookies.

These are one of those photos that are hurriedly shot before the fleeting moments of sundown came to pass, again. The sun was setting and the sky was dimming by the second, casting a grayish hue on my standing-height Ikea table, which was where I was going to shoot the cookies. I moved quickly. I grabbed the best-looking cookies and set them on a pink flowery plate I had grabbed from my display cabinet and given a quick wipe just moments before. Positioning two slightly off-centre then leaning the third against the foundation of sorts, I was ready to bring the plate to the table.

My camera was sitting on another table where the TV was at. On the way to my Ikea table, I casually swiped the DSLR from where it was at with my free hand. Finally, the cookies and camera were ready. I was ready. It was time to shoot.

I battled against time and fought hard against the annoying little voice in the back of my head.

Horrible composition. Too close! Zoom out, zoom out! That angle is boring.

I could have done better, I believe. But I'd also like to believe that these pictures are not bad given time constraints. Hah. Anyway, the taste of the cookies is more important, no?

Instead of whole, chopped or slivered almonds in the recipe, the almond component is actually flaked almonds, which you have to admit is pretty unusual. They act almost like rolled oats, giving the cookies this flakiness that results in bits of cookie breaking off from time to time with every bite. Also, there is almond extract, and you can taste it. I sort of like almond extract in small doses, but it's not the most popular flavoring so if you absolutely abhor it, you should leave it out or reduce the amount by half if you make these cookies.

These cookies prove to me again that chocolate chunks are superior to chocolate chips- you just can't get that melty ooze from chocolate chips once the cookies are cooled. I would replace chocolate chips with chocolate chunks in all future chocolate chip cookie recipes but sometimes, the convenience is so hard to beat.

Oh, sloth would be the death of me.

Almond and Bittersweet Chocolate Nugget Cookies
makes 33
adapted from Baking by Flavour

1 1/3 cups + 3 tbsp all-purpose flour
1/8 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp cream of tartar
1/4 tsp salt
1 stick butter
2 tbsp + 2 tsp shortening
2/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp almond extract
3/4 tsp vanilla extract
12 ounces bittersweet chocolate, cut into 1/2 to 3/4 inch nuggets
1 cup lightly packed sweetened flaked coconut
2/3 cup slivered almonds, lightly toasted and cooled completely

Preheat oven to 350F. Line baking sheets.

Whisk the flour, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt together.

Cream the butter and shortening until smooth. Add the sugars and beat until light and fluffy. Blend in the egg, almond and vanilla extracts. Stir in the flour mixture until just incorporated. Stir in the chocolate, coconut and almonds until evenly distributed.

Spoon rounded 2-tablespoon-size mounds of dough onto the prepared baking sheets. Bake for 16 to 18 minutes or until just set and pale golden around the edges. Cool cookies on the baking sheets for 2 minutes before transferring to a rack to cool completely.

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