Thursday, September 6, 2012

Buttery Vanilla Almond Shortbread Cookies

Take a look at these beauties:


Nom nom nom!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm so excited because I just received some almond flour in the mail that I ordered. It's so beautiful, and its nutty flavor and texture is perfect for shorbreads!! I'm sure this flour is also great for other things such as pie crusts, any cookies, and maybe even cake! If you would like to purchase some of this almond flour, check out http://local.honeyvillegrain.com and buy some natural almond flour. Here's what the bag looks like:

It's HUGE! It's a little bigger than a normal sized all-purpose flour bag. What a great deal!
Well, back to the cookies. The reason I made these cookies today is because I'm doing a test run of the food I'm making for my mommy's birthday dinner. Man, I'm so glad I made these! 



These cookies are a treat for your tastebuds! Their flavor is sweet, nutty, and unique, and the texture is crispy yet dense (the perfect crunch and a slightly soft middle). The nutty, rich almond flour pairs fantastically with the salty Earth Balance butter and sweet sugar. To add extra flavor and fragrance, I add the seeds of a fresh vanilla bean to the mix:

Here are some fresh vanilla beans! 
Here's another shot of those cookies before they bake to perfection in the oven:


 And here they are after being baked to perfection:


 Simply. Poetry.

Enough talk - Let's bake!



 Nat's Vanilla Almond Shortbread Cookies

Makes about 2 dozen mini shortbreads

Ingredients:
* 1 cup almond flour
* 1/3 cup Earth Balance Butter
* 1/3 cup coconut palm sugar 
* seeds of 1 vanilla bean

Directions:
1) Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease a cookie sheet.
2) Place all ingredients in a large bowl. Make sure the butter is still cold from the fridge (shortbreads do not do well with melted butter). 
3) To access the seeds of the vanilla bean, use a sharp knife to make a slit at the top of the bean. Then drag the knife downwards until you have cut the vanilla bean in half. Inside will be a dark, grainy substance that is very fragrant. Those are the seeds. Scrape these into the mixing bowl with your knife.
4) With a fork, mash ingredients together. Then mix the dough with your own hands until well-combined and moldable, like playdough. Also, make sure the vanilla bean has been well distributed throughout the cookie dough.
5) Place the cookie dough on parchment/wax paper, and press it down to desired thickness (mine are a little on the thicker side). Cut into shapes with cookie cutters of choice and place on cookie sheet.
6) Bake for 10-12 minutes or until browned. The cookies will still be soft to the touch when you take them out. 
7) Let the cookies cool on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes, then carefully transfer them to a cooling rack with a spatula. Let the cookies cool and harden some more for another 5 minutes on the rack, and then they are ready to enjoy!

Bon apetit! Oui oui!

So what are you waiting for? Go make some cookies! 


Much love,

~ Natalyn :)


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