Friday, August 24, 2012

the joy of cookies

I was three years old when my little sister was born. I skipped down the hospital hall, excited to see my mom and my new sister, buoyed by a secret my dad had told me.  Hospital food, he'd said, was gross.  And that's why he had a pack of oreos hidden under his labcoat, a secret I knew, but wasn't allowed to tell, as we walked in to my mom's room.  Clutched in my little fist, the packaging on the oreos grew warm.  I showed my mom the cookies, furtive and proud, and her laughter confirmed that this was an awesome gift. We tore the packaging and shared a cookie, getting crumbs all over the bed. My perception of food transformed in that moment: it went from mundane to mystical, the cookies imbued with the joy of feeding my mom, sharing a secret with my dad, and meeting my sister.

I've never lost that joy. So happy birthday, Mom, and thank you for loving cookies.

Almond-Chocolate Cookie Sandwiches

The ingredients of my recipe are fairly standard chocolate chip cookie proportions, but the way to put them together is a little off-beat. Because the almonds are ground into flour and the chocolate chips are chopped up, the cookie texture is uniform and holds up well for sandwich cookies.

8 oz (1 cup) almonds, slivers or slices or whole
2 cups flour
1/2 tablespoon baking soda
1/2 tablespoon salt
1 cup softened butter
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 package of chocolate chips

Food processor
Baking sheet

Use a thin spread of either peanut butter, nutella, or powdered sugar mixed with water between two cookies to form a sandwich.  To make extra special cookies, use whipped cream as the filler, and freeze for 30 minutes before serving.

1. Preheat the oven to 375.

2. Put the almonds in the food processor, and pulse them until they create a coarse almond flour.
3. Empty the almond flour into a bowl, and mix in the baking soda, salt, and flour. 
4. In the now empty food processor, cream the butter.
5. Add the brown sugar, mix it in well, then add in the granuated sugar and mix again. 
6. Eggs and vanilla come next, and once it's all mixed, add in the chocolate chips. Whip them into a coarse paste, and add the dry ingredients. Mix. 
7. Grease the cookie sheet, and then add quarter-sized dollops up and down the sheet. 8 minutes in the oven for soft cookies, 9-10 minutes for crunchier ones.
8. Let the cookies cool, then spread a thin layer of your favorite filling.
9. Enjoy with your mom.

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