Monday, November 16, 2009
Almond Orange Bites
These Almond Orange Bites are one of my moms absolute favorites. I love almond. I love almond in just about anything. The addition of the orange zest really brightens up this butter cookie.
Today's ingredients: 1 cup softened butter, 1 cup sugar, 1 egg separated, 3 tablespoons almond liquer (or 1 tablespoon almond extract), 2 cups all-purpose flour, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, orange, 1/4 teaspoon salt and sliced almonds.
I'll be honest, I totally forgot to take my butter out to soften so I'm going to pretend that I just like to prep out my ingredients ahead of time.
Separate an egg. The snot, er, white stays in a bowl to be beaten with a teaspoon of water later.
Now all this can be added to the dough at the right time but in today's demonstration we are doing this separately.
Throw the yolk in a bowl with 3 tablespoons of almond liquer (or 1 tablespoon of almond extract) and 2 teaspoons of grated orange peel.
Now you have a poor nekkid orange. You can eat it, or slice it up and put it in a pot with some cloves and a cinnamon stick then simmer in a couple inches of water until everyone in the neighborhood can smell Christmas. This is a good trick for before you have people over.
In another bowl mix 2 cups of flour, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder and 1/8 teaspoon of salt.
When your butter is finally ready (unlike what is shown in the picture) cream your 1 cup of butter with 1 cup of sugar.
Add your egg yolk mixture and mix well. OR add in the yolk, amaretto and zest here.
Add your flour mixture and beat until it just starts to come together. When it looks like the above picture you can just mix it a bit more with a spatula.
Roll out some saran wrap and then make a patty out of half of the dough.
Flatten those patties and wrap them tight. Freeze them for about 25 minutes or until they are firm enough to roll out without sticking.
Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.
When the dough is firm roll it out on a floured surface. You'll want it about 1/4 inch. Pick out some small cookie cutters (these are 1 1/2 inches) and place them on a buttered cookie sheet a few inches apart. Um, what I meant to say is that you put the cut out dough on the cookie sheet. I don't think putting the cutters on the sheet will do you much good.
Don't put too much butter on those sheets or the cookies will spread too much. Just a nice thin coat. I use a cold stick of butter and just run it along the sheet.
Coat the cut out dough with egg white (1 egg white whisked with one teaspoon of water).
Then place some almond slivers on top. If you use larger cookie cutters you can make fun little designs with the almonds.
OCD Alert: The almonds do not need to be perfect. You can use broken ones, you can jumble them up, you can fan them out.... but do not spend all day placing almonds on cookies.
I just cover up the odd looking ones with the prettier ones.
Bake at 325 for 10 minutes or until a nice golden. If you put in 2 trays at a time, switch them half-way thru.
Proceed to eat 20 of them. I love this with a nice cup of tea. Perfect.