Bready or Not: Almond Sable Cookies

Posted by on Jan 1, 2020 in Blog, Bready or Not, cookies, French | 0 comments

Let’s welcome 2020 in grand style: with French shortbread called almond sables!

Bready or Not: Almond Sable Cookies

I’ve made a lot of shortbread in my day. All varieties. This is shortbread that’s gone up in level. It tastes fancy. It’s a French recipe, so that’s only appropriate, right?

Bready or Not: Almond Sable Cookies

I highly recommend you use President-brand unsalted butter for this recipe. My recipe is actually modified from a version they used in advertisements. However, you can use other butters, just make sure you use unsalted and only 7 ounces. That means you’ll chop off a tablespoon from the standard American butter stick.

Bready or Not: Almond Sable Cookies

I made these cookies twice to get the recipe the way I wanted it. I used salted butter the first time, and the cookies tasted noticeably salty. Not just to me, but to other eaters as well.

Bready or Not: Almond Sable Cookies

Because these cookies have such few ingredients, the few that are present really have a chance to shine. They are buttery, mildly nutty, with a soft, sandy texture.

Bready or Not: Almond Sable Cookies

I liked using my fluted cookie cutters for these–that way the sugar coating has more nooks and crannies to cling to!

Recipe modified from a President butter advertisement.

Bready or Not: Almond Sable Cookies

These French-style shortbread cookies taste delicate and refined. Note that the dough needs at least a few hours to chill prior to baking. Modified from a recipe by President Butter.
Course: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: French
Keyword: cookies, shortbread
Servings: 20 cookies
Author: Beth Cato

Equipment

  • small cookie cutter
  • parchment paper

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup sliced almonds
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 7- ounces President unsalted butter softened, or substitute other unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 3/4 cup white sugar divided
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 vanilla bean or substitute 1 Tablespoon vanilla bean paste or 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 egg yolk

Instructions

  • Toast the almonds prior to beginning cookies. Preheat oven at 325-degrees. Spread almonds in an even layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Toast for about 10 minutes, until fragrant. Set aside to cool for a few minutes; turn off oven.
  • Measure out flour in a small bowl.
  • Use a food processor to grind almonds to a fine crumb; don't process for too long or it'll turn to almond butter. Mix almond crumbs with flour.
  • In a big bowl, beat butter until smooth. Add confectioners' sugar, 1/4 cup white sugar, and salt, until smooth again. Add vanilla bean (or equivalent) and egg yolk. Gradually work in flour mixture. Turn dough onto a lightly floured work surface, and knead 3 or 4 times to form a cohesive ball.
  • Place dough between two large sheets of parchment paper and compress dough to about 1/2-inch thickness. Enshroud in plastic wrap. Transfer to fridge to set, at least 2 hours but as long as 2 days.
  • Preheat oven to 325-degrees. Line large baking sheet with fresh parchment paper.
  • Roll out dough to closer to 1/4-inch thickness, then set aside top parchment sheet. Use a small round cookie cutter to cut dough, placing rounds spaced-out on sheet pan. Re-roll dough scraps to use up the rest, adding a touch of water, if necessary, to bring dough together again.
  • Bake until edges are just turning golden, about 15 to 20 minutes. Measure out remaining 1/2 cup white sugar in a bowl. Use a spatula to dip warm cookies into sugar to coat top and sides. Place on rack to cool cookies completely.
  • Cookies keep well in sealed container for up to 3 days.

OM NOM NOM!

    Read More

    Bready or Not Original: Walnut Apple Dump Cake

    Posted by on Dec 24, 2019 in apples, Blog, Bready or Not, breakfast, cake | 0 comments

    Bready or Not is being gifted a day early this year since Wednesday falls on Christmas Day!

    ‘Dump cake’ is not the most appetizing of terms, but I assure you, this Walnut Apple Dump Cake is delicious. It’s also quick and easy to throw together if you need something for breakfast or dessert on Christmas Day or on New Year’s a week away.

    Bready or Not Original: Walnut Apple Dump Cake

    Dump cake is the broad term that encompasses regional dishes like crisps, cobblers, brown betties, etcetera. It means the fruit is dropped into a dish and some kind of bready topping (flour, oats, granola, dumplings) is baked over it.

    Bready or Not Original: Walnut Apple Dump Cake

    In this case, the topping is a thin, golden cake. It’s enough to encase the apples and lock in moisture and flavor–plus add in some chewiness and crunch. The walnuts especially add to the latter.

    Bready or Not Original: Walnut Apple Dump Cake

    This is not a cake to be tidily cut into pieces. This is a cake that is scooped out onto a plate or bowl. Hence, I advise NOT using foil to line the pan as I do with most other casserole dish-style recipes. The spoon will just tear up the foil. Plus, the dish will clean up pretty easily afterward.

    Bready or Not Original: Walnut Apple Dump Cake

    I also advise that you eat this along with vanilla ice cream. It really does make for the perfect pairing, especially if you’re eating the cake warm.

    Bready or Not Original: Walnut Apple Dump Cake

    Bready or Not Original: Walnut Apple Dump Cake

    This easy-to-make cake is meant to be scooped out, not neatly cut. Delicious on its own or with vanilla ice cream!
    Course: Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
    Keyword: apple, cake
    Author: Beth Cato

    Equipment

    • 9x13 pan

    Ingredients

    • 6 medium apples like Granny Smith or Pink Lady, or a mix
    • 2 1/4 cups brown sugar packed, divided
    • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
    • 1 cup unsalted butter 2 sticks
    • 2 large eggs
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 cup walnuts chopped, divided

    Instructions

    • Preheat oven at 350-degrees. Use nonstick spray or grease with butter the inside of a 13x9 pan (note: don't line with foil).
    • Peel and slice apples and place in pan. Sprinkle 1/4 cup brown sugar and cinnamon over apples.
    • In a large bowl, cream together butter and remaining brown sugar. Add eggs and vanilla extract. Follow up with flour and 1/2 cup of walnuts.
    • Drop dollops of dough all over apples, covering as much as possible. Sprinkle remaining walnuts over top.
    • Bake for about 40 minutes. Top should be golden and apples tender when poked with a fork.
    • Serve warm, at room temperature, or cold. Store covered in foil, in fridge or on counter top, for up to three days. Fantastic with ice cream!

    OM NOM NOM!

      Read More

      Book Blog: Little Apocalypse by Katherine Sparrow

      Posted by on Dec 20, 2019 in Blog, book blog | 0 comments

      I review everything I read and post reviews on Goodreads and LibraryThing. That’s not enough. Good books are meant to be shared. Therefore, I’m spotlighting some of my favorite reads here on my site.

       

      little apocalypse

      Little Apocalypse by Katherine Sparrow
      out now; Indiebound, B&N, and Amazon

       

      I received a gratis copy of this book for reviewing purposes.

      Little Apocalypse feels like a delightful mash up of Neil Gaiman and Charles de Lint, all wrapped up in a middle grade package. There’s a level of darkness here–a wise, thoughtful look at how adults can make children into monsters–that is accessible to kids, and thoroughly enjoyable for adults as well.

      Celia has been awfully lonely in her new city, at her new school. Her solid relationship with her parents can’t make up for that. She’s trustworthy enough that her parents leave her alone for a weekend to go take care of her grandmother–and that’s when awful things happen. A terrible earthquake hits the city, cutting off the island from the outside world. She sees a strange, sad boy–a boy who happens to love books like she does–but his strange behavior and stranger friends make her leery. It turns out there are monsters around. Big monsters, little monsters, and a war that involves kids, and Celia is at the center of a prophecy that could change the world.

      I loved everything about this book. It’s so intense, I blazed through in about a day. Every single character feels vivid and real. As fun and entertaining as the book was, I loved what it said about major issues like relationships, self-control, and what it means to be a monster. I’m adding this to my shortlist of children’s books to nominate for the Norton Award for the year.

      Read More

      Breath of Earth $1.99 Ebook Sale! Happy Holidays!

      Posted by on Dec 19, 2019 in Blog, breath of earth | 0 comments

      For a limited time, snag the ebook of Breath of Earth for a mere $1.99! This book hasn’t been on sale for nearly a year. Get it while you can, then go on to read the next two books in the completed Blood of Earth trilogy. No wait required!

       

      About Breath of Earth:

      After the earth’s power under her city is suddenly left unprotected, a young geomancer must rely on her unique magic to survive in this fresh fantasy novel from the author of the acclaimed The Clockwork Dagger.

      In an alternate 1906, the United States and Japan have forged a powerful confederation— the Unified Pacific—in an attempt to dominate the world. Their first target is a vulnerable China. In San Francisco, headstrong secretary Ingrid Carmichael is assisting a group of powerful geomancer wardens who have no idea of the depth of her own talent—or that she is the only woman to possess such skills.

      When assassins kill the wardens, Ingrid and her mentor are protected by her incredible magic. But the pair is far from safe. Without its full force of guardian geomancers, the city is on the brink of a cataclysmic earthquake that will expose the earth’s power to masterminds determined to control the energy for their own dark ends. The danger escalates when Chinese refugees, preparing to fight the encroaching American and Japanese forces, fracture the uneasy alliance between the Pacific allies, transforming San Francisco into a veritable powder keg. And the slightest tremor will set it off. . . .

      Forced on the run, Ingrid makes some shocking discoveries about herself. Her already considerable magic has grown even more fearsome . . . and she may be the fulcrum on which the balance of world power rests.

      #SFWAPro

      Read More