Monday, April 16, 2012
nuts to you
It is seventy degrees here, sunny as all get-out, and all three progeny are off school for the week. So you can relax in total confidence that nothing I tell you about this week will be especially complicated.
Here are the cookies I promised you on Friday. Here is what they are not, particularly: complicated, beautiful, indulgent.
Here is what they are: insanely simple, delicious, satisfying and exciting for your mouth.
The recipe comes from my friend Naomi, who got it from her friend Lina. These two women wield mighty spoons. Do not doubt them. Especially do not doubt Naomi's warnings and caveats, reproduced for you almost verbatim below from the text message she wrote me on the train where she was when she received my frantic plea for the instructions.
I cannot even really tolerate eating raw almonds; it produces the kind of itchiness that leads directly to scraffing your front teeth along your tongue repeatedly, pausing only to manifest that garchy hairball noise in the back of the throat that is so taxing on a marriage. And yet I ate the dough, and then I ate some more. When I say the recipe makes about a dozen nuggets, I mean that in the end, that is about how many you will be able to bake. If, in your haste to get the dough in the oven and away from your grabby hands, you do not heed the warning about compacting it firmly between two spoons and the cookies look a little fall-apart-ish once baked, you can smish them together a little while they are still warm. Again, this is not the sort of thing I would want anyone to know that I recommend. I am just saying it can be done.
Lina and Naomi's version requires not one iota of improvement, but for giggles there is a variation below it that seems to have worked out fine.
naomi & lina's almond cookies
makes about a dozen
Turn oven on to 300 and line a baking sheet with parchment.
1 cup raw almonds
1/4 cup maple syrup
A good fat pinch of good salt
2 cardamom pods, shells removed
2 tsp water
Chop everything up in a food processor until it looks right and kind of sticks together. Try not to eat it all when raw. (Maybe make a double batch next time, eh?)
Put small spoonfuls, well-compacted between two teaspoons, onto the parchment-lined pan. Bake about 20 minutes or until they are a nice golden color. Remove them to a cooling rack. Eat them before anybody notices and start another batch right away.....
Variation on that theme:
Replace the maple syrup with honey. Replace the cardamom with a fat pinch of red pepper flakes, add a teaspoon of grated fresh ginger root and then proceed as above, in the vain hope that the kick of spice will slow you down before you eat it all.