Cookies: Almond Cream Cheese Cookies

As the holidays approach, things are starting to get a little crazy and chaotic. Using the advice of a fellow blogger, *Ebony Porter (she’s the artist behind  Campfire quilts), I’m going to cut the chit chat and preamble on this particular post and get straight to the good stuff: the recipe for Almond Cream Cheese Cookies. Its crunch time, people, and no one has time to read! Lets bake!

Almond Cream Cheese Cookies, makes about 2 dozen cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened to room temperature
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons almond extract
  • 2 1/2 cups All Purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

For the Topping and Glaze:

  • 1 cup almond slices, toasted (see below)
  • 3/4 cup Confectioners sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1-2 tablespoons milk (or almond liquor if you’d like a stronger amaretto flavor. Just make sure to omit the extract if you go this route.)

Equipment:

  • Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer, or an Electric mixer with a large mixing bowl, (or a wooden spoon and your arm). I use a Kitchen Aid.
  • 9” X 13” Baking sheets, lined with Silicone baking Sheets or Parchment paper (In a pinch you can grease your baking sheets with butter, Shortening, or a non-stick cooking spray).
  • Separate mixing Bowl for dry ingredients
  • Rubber spatula to scrape sides of bowl

For the glaze:

  • A baking rack
  • A 9” x 13” baking sheet lined with parchment, aluminum foil or silicone baking sheet for easy cleanup
  • A bowl
  • A whisk

The Process:

1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Just barely golden, toasting your almonds enhances their nutty flavor. Just don’t burn them. That enhances nothing.

2) Toast your almonds on a baking sheet lined with parchment at 350 degrees for 3-4 minutes until slightly golden. Set aside

3) Combine dry ingredients (flour, salt, and baking powder) in a separate bowl using a whisk or a fork.

4) Cream the cream cheese, butter, brown sugar, and white sugar on medium speed (Kitchen aid speed of 4-6) for 5 minutes to incorporate air. Scrape the sides of the bowl down using a rubber spatula and beat for 10 seconds on medium speed to make sure everything is thoroughly combined.

5) Add the egg and almond extract, to your creamed mixture and beat the mixture on medium speed until well combined (about 30 seconds to 1 minute). When the wet ingredients are combined, stop the mixer and scrape the side of the bowl. Turn the mixer back on for 10 seconds to ensure the wet ingredients are thoroughly combined. Turn off the mixer

6) Add the half of the dry ingredients. Start mixing the dough on lowest speed to begin combining the ingredients (reduces splatter). Then gradually turn the speed up back to medium speed. Mix until dry ingredients are barely combined (15 to 20 seconds, tops). Stop the mixer and scrape the sides of the bowl down. Then repeat this step with the rest of the dry ingredients. Be careful not to over mix your dough or the cookies will become tough.

7) Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl.  With an ice cream scoop (I use one that is 2” in diameter), spoon out your dough onto your prepped baking sheet. Cookies should be about 2-2 ½” inches (or 3-4 fingers width) apart.  Because these cookies will be larger than average (about 2 tablespoons), they will need a little more room. Think 6 cookies per pan instead of the average 12.

8) Bake for 12-14 minutes rotating the pan half way through cooking.

*If Baking two sheets in the oven on different racks, switch sheets half way through baking so they bake evenly.

11) Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 2 minutes and then move them to cool on a wire rack for at least 10 minutes. You can eat these as is or glaze them and top them off with toasted almonds as shown below.

 

 

Glazing the cookies: This is optional, but recommended because it tastes good.

1)To make the glaze, whisk together the milk, confectioners sugar, and almond extract. The glaze should easily drizzle off your whisk or spoon, but not be watery. If the mixture is too thick, add more liquid a teaspoon at a time. Too thin, add more confectioners sugar a tablespoon at a time.

2)Using a spoon, lightly drizzle the glaze over each cookie (you do not want them to be sopping wet. Soggy cookies are no bueno)

3) Sprinkle the toasted almonds on top of the cookies.  Make sure to do this when the glaze is wet because the glaze will act like a glue letting the almonds adhere to your cookies. Let the glaze and almonds dry for 30 minutes to until the glaze is no longer wet.

 Cookies and Salt Disclaimer: I received no money, sponsorship, or anything from this post. I just keep writing this stuff for free like a putz. Oh well. At least, there’s cookies. 

*If you’re interested in Campfire quilts and Ebony’s work (which has been featured in Texas Monthly because its awesome), please check out her Instagram @campfirequilts or the Campfire quilts website, www.campfirequilts.com

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