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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Almond Slice Cookies

The Chambers Dictionary defines a cookie as “a small sweet biscuit or cake.” The Food Dictionary adds that it’s “a small flat confection, usually classified by its distinctive ingredient or by the way in which it is prepared.”

I personally think that both attempts at describing a cookie do no justice to these sweet delectable morsels.

But then how can you capture in a few short lines the different tastes, textures, sizes and shapes that cookies come in. If one had never seen a cookie before, the adjectives flat and small would not motivate many to go looking for one.

It seems that cookies have come a long way since these definitions were written and the time has come to revise and update these dictionaries!

I love to bake cookies and especially appreciate being able to test try them to see how well they’ve turned out. It’s also easier to sneak a few without being found out.

Cakes on the other hand don’t afford the luxury of trying a piece before serving to guests if presentation is at all important to you.

Cookie recipes are countless, I have volumes of cookie recipes not counting the ones in my “recipes to try out” file.

We all have our favourite cookie recipes, family favourites and those recipes we can always go back to because we know they will turn out well when we really need them to.

The following is one of those cookie recipes that I have counted on for many years. It's always been a great addition to any assorted cookie tray and has been a sell out at bake sales.

Bringing some along to a dinner party or gathering arranged on a decorative plate, or inside an attractive box is always graciously accepted by any host.

Choosing the recipes to post was really hard but it had to be done. Otherwise I would be posting cookie recipes indefinitely, though I don’t think too many would mind.

Almond Slice Cookies

2 cups all purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cups shortening
1 whole egg
1 egg yolk (save white for meringue)
1 teaspoon almond extract (can be substituted by equal amount of vanilla)
1 tablespoon milk
1 cup blanched, sliced almonds

1 egg white
5 tablespoons sugar
  1. Beat egg white until foamy.
  2. Gradually add sugar 1 tablespoon at a time until stiff. Set aside.
  3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  4. Lightly grease 2 cookie sheets.
  5. Sift flour, salt and baking soda into a medium size bowl.
  6. In a separate bowl cream sugar, shortening, whole egg, egg yolk and extract.
  7. With electric mixer beat dry ingredients in thirds into creamed mixture adding milk after the second addition.
  8. Divide dough into 6 equal portions and shape into rolls, place onto cookie sheets then flatten to ½ inch thickness.
  9. Spread meringue over strips of dough then cover with sliced almonds.
  10. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes.
  11. Remove from oven and let sit for 1 to 2 minutes.
  12. Trim off edges and ends and slice into 1 inch slices.
  13. Transfer cookies onto wire cooling rack. Yields 50 to 60 cookies.

Notes, Tips and Suggestions

  • Be generous with the sliced almonds, place as many as possible over the meringue.When the cookie spreads so will the almonds.
  • Store cookies in cookie tins or plastic containers placing wax paper between layers.
  • The ends and edges you cut off for presentation sake are just as yummy as the cookies and may be all you get to eat if you're giving the cookies away.
  • These cookies freeze very well.

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