Tag Archives: almond

Orange-Almond Shortbread Cookies

Orange zest gives these cookies their subtle orange flavor. Make sure you have lots of milk available when you serve them. This recipe is adapted from a Martha Stewart recipe. It received a second place ribbon at the San Diego County Fair. Continue reading

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Orange Seared Salmon with Almonds

Are you looking for a dinner idea that is both healthy and flavorful? This recipe based on a recipe from Sunset magazine may be just what you need. Even though there is no butter in the sauce, it is rich and full-flavored enough to be used in place of butter. The perfect wine for this is Wilson Creek Almond Sparkling Wine Continue reading

Napa Rose Cabernet Mushroom Sauce

This is a recipe from the Napa Rose Cooking School I attended at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel last May. Although the only meat in it is the veal stock, it has a meaty and earthy taste that goes well with any cut of beef as well as potatoes and mushrooms.

Continue reading

Chewy Almond Orange Cookies

This recipe is from Martha Stewart Living. The consistency of these confections is like a cross between a cookie and a soft meringue.

Makes 18 cookies.

Ingredients

  • 4 ½ oz sliced almonds (divided into 3 ½ oz and 1 oz)
  • ¾ C sugar (divided into ½ C and ¼ C)
  • ¼ C all-purpose flour
  • Zest of 2 oranges
  • 1 tsp anise, crushed
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2 tsp confectioners’ sugar

Recipe

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. In a food processor, blend 3 ½ ounces of almonds with ½ C sugar until almonds are finely ground.
  3. Transfer almond mixture to a bowl and stir in flour, orange zest and anise.
  4. Using a stand mixer whisk egg whites, salt, ¼ C sugar until soft peaks form.
  5. Fold egg whites into almond mixture.
  6. Spoon tablespoons of batter 2 inches apart on two baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Using remaining almonds arrange three almonds on each cookie. Sift confectioners’ sugar over cookies.
  7. Bake until cookies are slightly browned on the edges, about 12 minutes. Cool for two minutes before moving to cooling rack to cool completely.

Blueberry Almond Delights

This recipe is based on a recipe I found on the Food Network web site (one of my favorite places to look for recipes) and adapted for my stand mixer. It took first place at the San Diego County Fair (formerly the Del Mar Fair) in 2008. Because of the almonds the taste reminds me of biscotti.

I used fresh blueberries but it will work well with frozen blueberries if you thaw and drain them. I use a #40 (1½ tablespoon) disher (it looks like a small ice cream scoop). That way the cookies are uniform.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • ½ cup chopped almonds, toasted
  • 1 cup blueberries

Recipe

  1. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer using the beater blade, cream together the butter and sugar. Add egg yolk and beat until incorporated. Add milk, almond extract, lemon zest and continue beating until incorporated.
  3. With the mixer on low speed slowly add the flour mixture into the wet ingredients.
  4. Fold in the almonds first, then fold in the blueberries.
  5. Chill the dough in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
  6. While dough is chilling preheat the oven to 375°.
  7. Drop heaping tablespoons of the mix onto cookie sheets. Bake until golden brown around the edges, about 15 minutes.
  8. Cool the cookies on a wire rack.

Moroccan Bastilla

My wife and I occasionally go to a Moroccan restaurant called Marrakesh. They have a traditional Moroccan appetizer called Bastilla (pronounced buh-STEE-ya) that is wonderful. It has sugar, cinnamon, almonds, chicken, spices and it’s all wrapped up in phyllo. A few weeks ago I thought about it and wondered if I could make it at home. I searched Google for a recipe and found one by Chef Daniel Avurto of Mamounia. I’ve made this recipe twice now and each time it tasted exactly the same way it did at the Marrakesh.

This recipe is for one bastilla that serves about eight as an appetizer (so long as you can keep everyone from taking seconds). To make two, just boil the whole chicken instead of half  and use twice as many eggs (no need to double the vegetables and spices in the pot with it). You can split up the labor and cook the chicken the day before if you like.

Ingredients

Chicken filling:

  • ½ chicken
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon ginger
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 whole cinnamon stick
  • 1 cup chopped cilantro
  • 6 large eggs

Almond filling:

  • 8 ounces (230 grams) slivered almonds (if using sliced almonds, crush them)
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon

Pastry crust:

  • 1 box frozen phyllo pastry dough (in your supermarket freezer section)
  • ¼ cup melted butter
  • Confectioners sugar

Recipe

Chicken filling:

  1. Put enough water in a large pot to cover the chicken.
  2. Add the onion, ginger, turmeric, black pepper, cinnamon stick and cilantro.
  3. Bring water to boiling over high heat, add chicken and cook for 30 minutes.
  4. Take the chicken out of the stock and set aside to cool. Reserve 1/3 cup of the stock.
  5. When cool remove skin, bone and cut the chicken into bite sized pieces.
  6. Whisk the eggs with the reserved stock.
  7. Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. When hot, add the egg mixture and soft-scramble the eggs.
  8. Combine the chicken pieces and egg mixture in a large bowl.

Almond filling:

  1. Process sugar and cinnamon in a food processor until combined.
  2. Put almonds in a bowl, add sugar mixture and mix together.

Pastry crust and final assembly:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Thaw phyllo dough according to package directions (but do not remove from storage bag). Note: Each piece of phyllo dough is paper thin and must be handled quickly and carefully so it doesn’t dry out until it is in place. If you need to leave the dough for more than a few moments, cover with a damp towel to ensure it doesn’t dry out.
  3. Remove and unroll the thawed phyllo dough from the storage bag. If you need to leave the unrolled dough for more than a few moments, cover with a damp towel to ensure it doesn’t dry out.
  4. Brush melted butter on the bottom and sides of a 9 inch (23 centimeter) oven-proof skillet.
  5. Cover bottom and sides of skillet with phyllo dough making sure the dough covers and overlaps in the bottom of the pan and goes over and outside the side.
  6. Carefully spread 1/3 cup of the almond filling over the dough in the skillet.
  7. Spread the entire chicken mixture on top of the almond filling.
  8. Top with the rest of the almond filling.
  9. Fold the excess dough over the filing and add more phyllo dough as needed to ensure the top is completely covered. Tuck any excess dough into the inside side of the skillet so the filling is completely encased.
  10. Bake Bastilla for 15 – 30 minutes or until lightly browned.
  11. Place serving plate upside down on top of skillet and invert skillet.
  12. Put confectioners sugar in a sieve and sift a layer of sugar to completely cover the bastilla.
  13. Cut into pieces and serve immediately or for an authentic service break the bastilla open with your fingers, let it cool a bit and let everyone pull off pieces onto a plate and eat with your hands.

Flavored Crisp Cookies

This recipe is based on Cassis Crisps from Martha Stewart’s web site. I tried it with Creme de Cassis (black currant flavored liqueur) and Creme de Banana. In both cases the flavoring was very subtle. I may try it this weekend with Wilson Creek Chocolate Port, Chambord (black raspberry flavored liqueur) or almond extract.

These cookies are crisp on the outside and tender on the inside. The sanding sugar adds one more layer to the texture.

Note: Sanding sugar is sugar with very large granules.

Ingredients

  • 2 3/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup flavored liqueur
  • Coarse sanding sugar, for sprinkling

Recipe

  1. Preheat oven to 350° (325° if using a convection oven).
  2. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt.
  3. Put butter and granulated sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix on medium speed (#6 on my KitchenAid) until pale and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add eggs and flavored liqueur, and mix until combined.
  4. Add flour mixture, and mix on low speed (#4 on my KitchenAid) until smooth (it will still be a bit sticky).
  5. Divide dough in half, and wrap each half in plastic; refrigerate until cold, at least 1 hour.
  6. Working with 1 half at a time, flour the dough lightly on both sides and roll out to 1/4 inch thick.Quickly cut out cookies using a medium size cookie cutter. Space 2 inches apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper, and sprinkle with sanding sugar. Reroll scraps; repeat with remaining dough.
  7. Bake cookies until golden brown all over, 12 to 15 minutes (14 – 15 minutes if using a convection oven). Let cool on wire racks.