We have an overload of almond meal in our house. Don’t ask me why because I myself do not understand but all I know is that at once stage, there were over 10 packets :p
I really gained an appreciation I suppose for almond meal this way through my grandmother’s almond burfi, this delicious frangipane tart and many other sweet dishes. This appreciation however did not whether away the massive supply of almond meal however.
So I decided to find a delicious almond meal cookie recipe because as you know, that is one of the few ‘desserts’ or ‘sweet things’ which is eaten at my house on a regular basis (I question my background sometimes!). The opportunity was also perfect since my grandparents needed a nice large batch for a trip as well. I love coincidences like that!!!
I headed over to Joy Of Baking and found these cookies – Speculaas. Yes, I had no idea what they were but by substituting all almond meal and no plain flour, I knew I would use up quite a bit of meal so I really wasn’t too bothered.
I eventually did look them up and these spice-filled, chewy and soft cookies and they are (According to Wikipedia – a teenager’s greatest source) a Dutch traditional style of shortbread usually consumed during St Nicholas’s Eve on December 5th. Because the festive season of our own Christmas is upon us in 2 months, I must say that this was an awesome way to get started.
I guess the traditional shortbread in the Netherlands are like our own usual cookies though as they do contain egg and ingredients other to just butter, sugar and flour. No complaints here though.
The dough for this recipe is the best I have ever had – I know, chocolate loving choc chip moi ate so much raw cookie dough I shouldn’t have even bothered washing the bowl! It was simply so delicious with the mix of orange zest mingling with allspice topped off with a subtle almond flavour. YUM!!!
As you can see, my cookies spread like crazy. I know, what in the world, they aren’t even circles, just honeycomb style hexagons. I had to cut it in such weird ways and am officially never going to use baking powder in cookies again (or only the smallest amount!!!)
You see, I didn’t realise that one tsp of baking powder could do so much damage. I suppose I shouldn’t have flattened out my cookies at all but still! My luck has it that when I don’t they stay upright instead of flattening 😛
All pain aside though, I know that next time when I bake these (and there most certainly will be) I won’t be using baking powder and WILL be flattening to have small cute cookies 😀
- Used zest of one orange instead of lemon – I think the flavour better suits the full of spices batter but you could even use lime or the original lemon rind or a combination of all
- I WILL NOT BE USING BAKING POWDER – OR 1/4 TSP FOR THE WHOLE RECIPE AND WILL BE FLATTENING THEM!
- I rolled my balls in white sugar before flattening them rather than using a glass bottom covered in sugar
- I won’t wrap the dough before refrigeration since it is too sticky – cover your mixing bowl firmly with gladwrap instead and then scoop tsp/tbs of batter out of it
- I used a random assortment of cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice in my cookies and omitted the ginger
- Handy Hint: Since my cookies were so flat, I discovered out of necessity that the best way to slide of cookies if they are sticking to the parchment paper is to use the flat side of a knife and slowly take them off without breaking the cookie in the middle