• January 28, 2014

    Almond-Cardamom Cream Cheese Cookies

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    I’m at home in New Brunswick.

    Lazy mornings have been spent lingering over coffee in the sunniest spot of the house – the kitchen table. It’s nestled into a cozy corner.

    The windows gaze out on giant evergreens and a serene snow-covered field on one side, and a porch railing dotted with charming little chickadees on the other.

    In mama’s house, nearly every inch of wall-space is host to colourful art, and mostly her own – she’s a wonderful artist.

    Watching the snow tumble down with warm fingers wrapped around my new favourite mug (a gift from mama), feet snug in stripy hand-knit wool socks (another gift from mama), I am just so aware of how beautiful this place is, and how lucky I am to have such a lovely patchwork family with such a cozy home to come back to.

    Sliced almonds, tangy cream cheese and sweet cardamom combine in this delightfully crumbly cookie. They are perfect winter treats – dust them with confectioners’ sugar to finish and they even look like snowballs.

    Perfect to enjoy on a snowy day, sitting at a warm kitchen table.

    Ingredients

    • 1 3/4 cups (8 oz/225 grams) all purpose flour
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1 tsp ground cardamom
    • 1/2 cup (4 oz/115 grams or 1/2 block) cream cheese
    • 1 cup (8 oz/225 grams) butter, softened
    • 3/4 cup (5 1/2 oz/150 grams) granulated sugar
    • 1 egg yolk
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • 1/2 tsp almond extract
    • 1 cup sliced, blanched almonds

    Preparation

    1. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt and cardamom; set aside.

    2. Combine cream cheese, butter and sugar in a standing mixer; beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in egg yolk, vanilla and almond extracts.

    3. Reduce mixer speed to low and gradually add flour mixture until fully combined. Transfer bowl to refrigerator and chill dough for one hour (or up to 24 hours).

    4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spread almonds out on a large plate. Form dough into balls between your palms, 1 tablespoon per cookie. Roll each dough ball in the almonds, pressing to adhere. Bake cookies two inches apart on an ungreased (ideally parchment-lined) baking sheet for about 12 minutes, until almonds are golden and cookies are firm, rotating once during baking. Transfer to wire racks to cool.

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