I have a new favorite food—almond butter. A friend recently recommended it as a possible solution to my waking up hungry in the middle of the night. (It works. Just a spoonful before bed keeps the peckishness away.) I've never been much of a peanut butter eater, whether on its own, in sandwiches, or as cookies. But almond butter I love. It has great texture and flavor, and with just the right amount of nutty sweetness. The almond butter I buy even has a little sea salt, making it all the better.
Like I said, I've never been a devotee of peanut butter cookies. However, a recent post by Big Girls Small Kitchen made me think "Why not almond butter cookies?"
I sent some of the cookies to the office with a colleague who came to visit me after the surgery. I received this email from Leslie, another Tendo colleague: "OMG, Siobhan, thank you for sending Julie with cookies to share. They are SO GOOD. I already ate two…breakfast of champions!!" Dessert for breakfast. I love it!
If you're short on time, you can make the cookie dough in advance. It will keep a couple of days in the fridge. And, in fact, it's better if you can let the dough rest in the fridge overnight. Also, you can portion out the dough, form the cookies, and then freeze them to bake later.
Almond Butter Cookies with Chocolate and Sel Gris
Inspired by Big Girls Small Kitchen
(Makes 24 - 36 cookies)
Note: Milk or semi-sweet chocolate works well for dipping the cookies. Bittersweet chocolate may overpower the delicate flavor of the cookies.
1 1/2 cups (6 3/4 ounces) all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces) golden brown sugar
1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces) granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups creamy almond butter
6 ounces good quality chocolate, chopped and melted
Sel Gris or other favorite finishing salt
In a small bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, and salt, then set aside.
Using a stand mixer, mix together the butter and both sugars until smooth but not fluffy. Add the egg, vanilla, and almond butter and mix until blended. Add the flour mixture and mix on low speed until just incorporated.
Transfer the dough to a clean bowl and cover with plastic wrap, and place in the fridge for at least 2 hours and up to 3 days.
When ready to bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 325 F. Line a couple sheet pans with parchment paper.
Using a spoon or a medium cookie scoop, portion the dough into balls and placethem on the baking sheet. When all the dough has been formed, use the bottom of a glass or a pastry tamper dipped in flour to flatten the dough balls to approximately 1/2-inch thickness. (The cookies can be frozen at this point and saved for later use.)
Bake for 13-15 minutes until cookies are firm to the touch and lightly golden on top. Turn the sheets back to front once while baking. (If baking frozen cookies, don't defrost and increase baking time to 17-18 minutes.)
Remove the cookies from the oven and cool for a couple minutes before gently transferring them to a wire rack. Allow the cookies to cool completely. Once cooled, dip half of each cookie in melted chocolate and place on parchment paper, sprinkling chocolate with a small amount of Sel Gris or other finishing salt.
Store the cookies in an airtight container.