Versatile almond cookies

These almond cookies are incredibly versatile. This recipe from Jennifer Mchenry at Bake or Break allows for three distinct variations. The first is the classic almond cookie with or without an almond in the center, the second is a thumbprint cookie filled with jam, and finally a thumbprint cookie with almond butter. These cookies are the perfect companion with a cup of tea (or coffee). The not-so-secret flavor? Almond flour. It makes all the difference.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (120g) all-purpose flour

  • ¾ cup (75g) almond flour

  • ½ teaspoon baking soda

  • ¼ teaspoon salt

  • ¾ cup (170g) unsalted butter, softened

  • ½ cup (100g) granulated sugar

  • ¼ cup (50g) firmly packed light or dark brown sugar

  • 1 large egg yolk

  • 1 teaspoon almond extract

  • sliced almonds, for topping the cookies

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone liners.

2. Whisk together the flour, almond flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

3. Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter, sugar, and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in the egg yolk and almond extract.

4. Reduce mixer speed to low. Gradually add the flour mixture, mixing just until combined.

5. Drop the dough by tablespoonfuls onto the prepared pans, leaving about 3 inches between cookies. Flatten each cookie to about 1/2-inch thick.

6. Sprinkle the top of each cookie with sliced almonds.

Or use the thumbprint method to create space for a delicious filling. We used jam and almond butter for another batch. Use any sweet filling that works for you!

Almond Cookies

7. Bake, one pan at a time, 12 to 14 minutes, or until the edges of the cookies are lightly browned and the tops appear set.

Cool on the pans for a few minutes before moving to a wire rack to cool completely. Let us know how your cookies turned out in the comments below! 

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Easy peasy fettuccine: making pasta from scratch

Homemade Pasta cover image Horizon Guest House Hawaii

Making homemade fettuccine may seem like a daunting task but with a simple recipe, a steady hand, and a bit of patience, you’ll be twirling freshly cooked, homemade fettuccine around your fork in no time!

*(Note: for best results we recommend using a machine but you can hand roll it).

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The three key ingredients to fresh, homemade pasta are simple. Flour, eggs, olive oil, a pinch of salt and a dash of water.

Beat flour, eggs, olive oil, and salt together in a bowl. Add water, 1 teaspoon at a time, to the flour mixture until a smooth and very thick dough forms.

Either let a dough hook on your stand mixer do the kneading or turn the dough out onto a work surface and knead for 10 minutes. Let the dough rest for around 5 to 10 minutes.

Why is it important to let it rest? Resting the dough gives the gluten in the dough the opportunity to relax. This makes it easier to roll out, either by hand or by using a machine.

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Divide dough into 4 balls and use a pasta machine to roll and then cut dough into desired pasta shape.

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You can make pasta without a machine, it just requires a little more effort. Roll out the dough until paper thin.

Using a rolling pin will get the dough rolled out as thin as a machine will – it’ll just take a little more time to get there.

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Take each of the balls and flatten it with your hands. Next, guide it through the machine, turning the handle at a steady rate.

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Run the pasta through twice and then fold the piece in from either side on the long edges, as below. 

Homemade pasta folded Horizon Guest House

Then run the dough through again, or as many times as necessary until you achieve your desired thickness. Then dust with flour and fold in half to rest.  

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The more you roll out the dough the longer the sheet and the longer your fettuccine will be. After you’ve let the dough rest (for at least 15 minutes) use the pasta machine to cut the dough into the desired shape, or if you don’t have a machine use a knife to cut the dough into noodles.

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If you find the noodles are sticking together you may need to add more flour. 

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Let your pasta rest again to dry, for between 15 to 30 minutes. There are lots of way to dry fettuccine.  You can use a baking tray lined with baking paper and dusted with flour, or hang over the back of a chair.

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When you just can’t wait any longer it’s time to cook! Cooking time is 4 to 6 minutes in boiling water.

Homemade pasta is best cooked straight away, or within 24 hours. You can freeze it too. It’s good for up to a month in the freezer. Just make sure to use the frozen noodles straight from the freezer without thawing them out first. Thawing allows condensation to form and any dampness will cause the noodles to stick together. 

 

How did your pasta turn out? Did you use a machine or hand roll? Let us know in the comments.

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