Recipe Testing: Almond Cookies

I've been on a diet for the last few weeks in preparation for an upcoming vacation (involving swimsuits, shudder). The diet is unpleasantly grain- and refined sugar-restrictive, but I was clued in by a friend that there was almond flour that could be used in making things that wouldn't technically be cheating. Perhaps I've been living in a cave, but I didn't even know almond flour existed.

I'd hit the "I'm going to kill someone if I don't have a cookie" point in my diet. And while I'm not normally a huge fan of baking, being able to find almond flour cookies with natural sugar (I'm actually allergic to artificial sweeteners) in the store proved itself to be near impossible. So I frantically Googled cookie recipes using almond flour and came across this gem. Or so I thought.

Almond meal was pretty easy to find at the store, albeit really freaking expensive ($12 for a small bag of flour?). But I sucked it up and bought it. I was completely unable to find maple flakes, which the recipe also called for, so I decided to use raw honey instead. I mixed things as directed, reducing the sugar (I knew the recipe was going to be too sweet for my taste). The batter was suspiciously runny, even after refrigeration, but I was able to spoon dough out onto the sheet and popped it in the oven anyway.

After the eight minutes baking, the cookies flattened significantly. I waited the two minutes to transfer them, and they were still very springy and hard to move. Once cooled, they were tasty but not of cookie consistency; they were more like squished almond-y cakes. They tasted of vanilla and almond, and slightly too much butter. Now, would I ever make these stupid cookies again?

Not likely.

Maybe the maple flakes make a huge difference, but since almond meal is a different beast from regular flour, I highly doubt it. I could see pouring batter in a smaller pan and making some soft of cake with the stuff, but it simply does not work as a cookie.

As for the directions for the cookies, if you do try to make them, don't preheat your oven until the cookie mix has been refrigerated for a while. It's near 90 degrees outside, no reason to run the oven that much.

Almond Cookies

  • 1 1/4 cup almond meal
  • 1 cup maple flakes
  • 1/4 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Stir together almond meal, baking soda and maple flakes, then blend in the butter, egg, and vanilla. Refrigerate dough for half an hour. Spoon out one-inch balls onto a greased or non-stick cookie sheet and flatten with a fork. Bake for eight minutes or until set. Be careful not to let your cookies brown, because that means they're too well done. Allow them to cool for 2 minutes on the sheet before moving them.

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