Before telling you about today’s cookies, I thought I would introduce you to one of our elves. I have several of these little guys and every year I bring them out and “Hide” them on shelves and other places where they can get into mischief. Occasionally they get moved from one spot to another so I find them in unexpected places. They add a little fun to our Christmas preparations.
Today’s cookie recipe is for Mandelbrot. They are crunchy cookies very similar to biscotti and so I include them in that general category of cookies. They always contain almonds as “mandelbrot ” is the German word for “almond bread”.
I have tried a variety of recipes for mandelbrot but I always come back to this one. It has very few ingredients, is so easy to put together and is dependable in that the cookies never fail to come out good. Everyone to whom I’ve given them loves them and asks for the recipe. This is one example where simple is always better. If you really want to dress them up a little a drizzle of dark chocolate over the top makes them especially appealing. Biscotti-type cookies go great with a cup of coffee, and it’s OK to dunk!
YIELD: 3 1/2 — 4 dozen cookies
- 1 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup salad oil
- 3 eggs
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon anise seeds, crushed
- OR 1/2 teaspoon almond flavoring
- 1 cup finely chopped almonds
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a baking sheet or line with parchment paper.
2. In a large mixer bowl, mix at medium speed, the sugar, oil, and eggs until well blended and aerated .
3. Add flour, salt and anise seeds, OR almond flavoring and continue beating until well mixed. If the dough becomes too stiff, stir in the remaining flour by hand.
4. Stir in the almonds.
5. Divide the dough in half. With floured hands, on the prepared baking sheet, shape each half into a 12 x 3-inch loaf about 3 inches apart.
6. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until light brown. Remove from the oven and immediately cut each loaf crosswise into 1/2 inch diagonal slices.
7. Turn each slice on its side. Return to oven and bake for 15 to 20 minutes more, turning the slices over at the half-way point to insure even browning.
They should be crisp and toasted, pleasantly crunchy, but not too hard. Adjust baking time to your liking.
SOURCE: Cooking Light, 2009