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Archive for the ‘Cookies’ Category

Finnish Almond Puff

One of the things that Mormons are well-known for is how well they take care of each other.  When my dad was very ill, the family spent ten hours a day at the hospital. There was not much time to think about much else. Enter the sisters of the Relief Society…

In my mom’s neighborhood, this cadre of ladies organized themselves and brought enough food to feed an army of folks. After eating all that hospital food, it was nice to have a home-cooked meal waiting when you got home.

One of these ladies was was a gal named Els-Britt, who is of Finnish ancestry. She brought over this to-die-for almond cookie. I took one bite and went into food-nirvana. For a couple of moments, I forgot all my cares and savored this buttery, almondy, crunchy-yet-puffy cookie bar. I had to have the recipe.

Brew yourself a cup of herb tea and munch your cares away with this one.
Kiitos, Els-Britt!

Finnish Almond Puff

Shortbread Crust:
½ cup butter
1 cup flour
2 tablespoons water
pinch of salt

Puff:
½ cup butter
1 cup water
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup flour
3 eggs

Sugar Glaze:
1 ½ cups confectioners sugar
2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 – 2 tablespoons water
Slivered almonds

1. Preheat over to 350-degrees Cut butter into flour and salt until well blended. Sprinkle water over mixture and mix with fork. Pat into 9 x 13 pan.

2. Prepare puff. Heat butter and water to rolling boil. Remove from heat and stir in extract and flour. Stir vigorously over low heat until mixture forms a ball. Remove from heat. Beat in eggs one at a time until smooth.

3. Spread mixture over shortbread crust, covering completely.

4. Bake 60 minutes until topping is crisp and brown. Cool.

5. Prepare sugar glaze. Combine ingredients. Mix until smooth. Drizzle over cooled puff. Sprinkle generously with slivered almonds. Cut into finger- sized bars and serve.

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Did you ever look at a food photo and immediately pull out the KitchenAid mixer? I did yesterday when I saw the recipe for Brownie Bites on the King Arthur Flour website.

Yesterday, I was having a former student over for tea and a long catch-up session. She had completed her first year of college and I needed to hear all about how things went. The last time we got together, I made mini Whoopie Pies. So this time I needed to pull together something fast that would satisfy the chocolate beast within.

As I was surfing, I came upon these little cuties. Don’t you think they turned out great?   And they tasted…. as I was told, “those brownies were ‘bangin’ good, Mom.”

I followed the directions as written on the King Arthur website, EXCEPT I only added a scant tablespoon espresso powder. Don’t leave this out as it complements the Hershey’s–enhancing it to the full measure of its creation. Also, the oinker in me decided to cut them with a 2.5″ cutter. MISTAKE! The rule of fashion applies here: less IS more. These bangin’ brownies are very rich. Cut them with a 1.5″ cutter. Then pour yourself a tall glass of cold milk and wade your way into fudgy chocolate coma. Oh baby!

Bangin’ Good Brownie Bites
Here’s the link to the original recipe on the King Arthur Flour website.

1 cup unsalted butter
2 1/4 cups sugar
1 1/4 cups cocoa (I used Hershey’s)
1 scant tablespoon espresso powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups flour
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350-degrees. Lightly grease a 9 x 13 pan and place a sheet of parchment paper on the bottom and sides of the pan. Lightly grease the paper.

Place the butter in a quart glass measuring cup. Zap in the microwave for a minute or two until melted. Pour into bowl of electric mixer.

Add sugar and stir to combine. Stir in cocoa, espresso powder, salt, baking powder, and vanilla.

Add the eggs and whisk until smooth. Do not overmix.

Add flour, chocolate chips and nuts, stir until smooth.

Spread batter into prepared pan. Bake to 28 – 34 minutes until a toothpick tester comes out clean. Remove brownies. Let cool for one hour before cutting. King Arthur indicates that you should yield 38 brownie bites from a 9 x 13 pan. Just before serving, garnish with a dusting of confectioner’s sugar, a dollop of whipped cream and shaved chocolate.

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