Saturday, April 11, 2009

Almond and Honey-Butter Cookies...

*Just a friendly reminder - Jeff and I are participating in the 35th annual 5 mile walk to support the Animal Humane Society on May 2nd in memory of Spike who we lost last year. Since Gus will be trudging his short lets as fast as they can go, we've decided we will be walking as Team Gus! Any donation small or large would be greatly appreciated - if you would like to support us, please check out our donation site!

We took Gus around Lake Calhoun for another walk yesterday to get him ready - it is just over 3 miles around and he finished happy with his tail still waggin' like crazy - I think he was still raring to go for more! Look how long his hair is getting!

Saturday mornings usually end up being the time that I make sure to set aside extra time to throw together some homemade snacks for us. I did just that again with a recipe for these honey-sweetened thumbprint cookies called Almond and Honey-Butter Cookies.

These round gems have a few things going for them that make them a bit better for you than your everyday cookie. Besides using only honey as the sweetener, we used a combo of soft whole-wheat pastry flour and all-purpose flour to achieve a delicate texture, yet still retain some good-for-you nutrients. Also bumping the cookies up slightly in protein and heart-healthy fats in the dry ingredients is a full cup of toasted whole almonds that we first finely ground in a food processor before adding them in.

While you would typically expect a stick or so of butter to get the cookies movin', this recipe only calls for three tablespoons used in the dough, while the remaining fat comes from canola oil. And as mentioned, instead of using white sugar, these are sweetened with a generous amount of sticky honey. This is where you can play around with imparting delicate notes into the cookie with the type of honey if you like - try orange-blossom, lavender or even tupelo, if you are lucky to find it.

Before you begin working with the dough, you'll want to let it hang out in the refrigerator for an hour to give the flour time to soak in the moisture and make it easier to work with. After rolling tablespoons worth of dough into balls, each is given a "thumbprint" or indent in the center, which will make for a crater to hold a creamy filling once they have cooled. You'll want to bake these just long enough to set the cookies and give them a light golden tinge around the edges. To fill up the dent in the cookies, we stirred together more of that sweet honey with just a tablespoon of softened butter to add just a kiss of richness without the guilt. To echo the almond in the dough and add a visual appeal, we slipped a couple sliced almonds that we toasted into each of the tiny honey-butter pools.

The texture of the actual cookie is somewhat crumbly, yet not dry and hard - they also contain a delightful nutty essence throughout. While the centers don't set up like a frosting, it does firm slightly so it isn't too messy to eat. If you're looking for a well-portioned cookie that tastes good and still packs a nutritious punch, I wouldn't wait too long to get a batch of these into the oven!



  1. What beautiful cookies! My hubby is a huge almond fan and would love them!

  2. We are finally having our much deserved spring like weather--I walked around Calhoun today (with about a million other people, lol) and it was gorgeous! Gus is so cute--I am glad he enjoyed going around the lake!

    These cookies sound fabulous--and they are so pretty too! I am going to try them with agave and an egg replacer to make them vegan. They are too cute to pass up!


  3. Love the cookies - they look gorgeous in the sun!

    Gus's fur really IS getting long! Good on him for making the trek so well.

    I wanted to donate to the walk but was hoping to do it through that an option?

  4. Kerstin - Thanks!

    Courtney - I bet it was packed! It was fairly light when we went mid-afternoon!

    MB - Send me an e-mail so we can discuss.

  5. Hope the walk went fabulously!! It's such a great thing you're doing. These cookies look just great. I love almond. Can't wait to try them!

  6. These look delicious and healthy! I'll have to try these soon, but I was wondering how you think it would work with ground pecans instead. I don't have a food processor, but I do have some pecan meal (ground pecans).

  7. Elyse - Almonds work well in cookies!

    Pamela - I don't see why not!