Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Happy New Year and all that jazz

I made it through, so I guess that’s a good thing.

Thanks to my brother, The Muddler, for providing me with a great little book at Christmas. Mighty Girl (aka Margaret Mason) published a book recently called No One Cares What You Had for Lunch. Basically, it’s 100 ideas for your blog. How cool is that? So, in an attempt to focus myself, in the coming weeks I’ll be providing you with the cookie recipes I did manage to bake this year. The list is a little shorter (by about half) than what I have made over the last few years. I’m starting off with the last batch of cookies I made. It’s also the batch of cookies that I screwed up by forgetting to add the flour. And then I overcooked them. Talk about a double-whammy. They tasted like cardboard and I dumped them in the bin. Ah well, guess there’s always next year. Thanks to Canadian Living for the recipe.

Italian Amaretti

2 cups (500 mL) unblanched almonds
2 egg whites
1 cup (250 mL) granulated sugar
2 tbsp (25 mL) all-purpose flour
1 tbsp (15 mL) almond extract
1 tsp (5 mL) baking powder

Line rimless baking sheets with parchment paper or grease; set aside.

In food processor, chop almonds until in small pieces with some powdery granules. Set aside.

In large bowl, beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Beat in sugar, 2 tbsp (25 mL) at a time, until ribbons fall from beaters when lifted. Stir in almonds, flour, almond extract and baking powder.

Drop batter by level tablespoonfuls (15 mL), about 2 inches (5 cm) apart, onto prepared baking sheets. Using fingertips, shape each into neat circle.

Bake in centre of 350°F (180°C) oven for about 20 minutes or until cookies are light brown and crisp on top. Let cool on pans on racks for 2 minutes. Transfer to racks; let cool completely. (Make-ahead: Store in airtight container for up to 2 weeks.)

More Information
Tips: Because batter is sticky, dust hands with icing sugar when shaping into circles.

Dark baking sheets are not recommended for these delicate cookies as they cause overbrowning.

Nutritional information
Per Cookie: about 54 cal, 1 g pro, 3 g total fat (trace sat. fat), 6 g carb, trace fibre, 0 mg chol, 8 mg sodium. % RDI: 2% calcium, 1% iron, 2% folate.

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