Here's another recipe that I got from Sweets for a Saturday.
I'd never baked with almond butter before and frankly, never even knew it existed. Since it had the magic ingredient of nutella and I'm still only halfway through the first Costco-size jar in my pantry (they come in a 2-pack), it seemed like a good cookie to try just for something different (the almond butter, not the nutella). In my initial search for almond butter, my friend Linda who I have mentioned previously keeps me stocked in fresh almonds, offered me a jar of creamy almond butter that she had on hand. In typical generous Linda fashion, she mailed it to me shortly after my request and it arrived in the mail in good time. Thanks Linda!
I had absolutely no idea what to expect from this recipe (click on the title of this post to go directly to the recipe on Amelia's blog) but the pictures looked so good on Amelia's site. Most importantly the cookies look like they didn't spread much and stayed thick. The dough was a dream to work with once it was mixed - it wasn't too soft or sticky as I scooped them into dough balls with my ice cream scoop. When you mix this dough, beat the butter until it's soft and creamy before you add the almond butter. This'll help the two butters mix together more smoothly without any lumps. When you have it all mixed except for the nutella, blend in the nutella by hand. I dropped spoonfuls of nutella into the batter and mixed slightly just to swirl it in but not fully incorporate into the dough. You want to keep the nutella distinctive.
I made this dough yesterday and put the dough balls to freeze in ziploc freezer bags until I would be ready to bake them. This afternoon, as part of my exercise, I decided to walk more than 3 miles to go to the nearest Michaels store for parchment paper and to Trader Joe's to get hazelnuts for another nutella recipe I wanted to try. It was about a 7-mile walk roundtrip and might seem a little excessive to walk that far for two items but I'm in "drive as little as possible because gas is more than $4 a gallon" mode so whenever I can, I put on my tennis shoes and take off on foot to do my errands. Unfortunately, while I was able to get the parchment paper at Michaels, I walked all the way to Trader Joe's only to stare at the empty space on the shelf where the hazelnuts were supposed to be. Yes, they were out. All that way for nothing.
When I got home I was tired and my fitbit assured me I had burned off almost 900 calories on my walk which sounded a little high to me but I was tired enough to want to believe it, especially since I had walked 11 miles 2 days earlier to go to my credit union's ATM. The new blisters on my old blisters on my feet convinced me I needed a treat so I decided to bake off a couple of these dough balls to test out the cookies. OMG. These are to die for. I've made a lot of desserts and some I like, some I think are just okay, some I love and some are the pinnacle. These go in the pinnacle category. They stayed thick, they were smooth and creamy, moist and superb. I baked them for only 9 minutes in my convection oven, just long enough for the edges to get a little crisp but the thick middles were moist and chewy, almost like raw cookie dough but way, way better. The swirls of nutella added to the flavor and the almond butter complemented it nicely. In fact, I think the nutella was better showcased by not being in a chocolate cookie. It stood out on its own against the more subtle flavor of the cookie.
Don't let the relatively humble look of these cookies fool you. They go into the royalty category of cookies for me. I'm now going to have to stock up on almond butter so I can keep making these cookies. They're a keeper. Thank you, Amelia, for posting the recipe!
ETA: I baked a fresh batch this morning to take to a friend and "had" to try another one to make sure it was as good as I thought the first time (yes, I had a cookie for breakfast, don't judge :)). It was but definitely don't bake these longer than 7-9 minutes even if you don't think they look done. Part of the cookie's appeal is the moist center. If you bake it longer, it'll still be okay but more like a normal baked cookie.
Oh and for anyone like me who has never baked with almond butter before and didn't know where to get it, if you don't have a helpful friend named Linda in your life, I've been told other sources to find almond butter are health food stores and Trader Joe's. And of course, my favorite website: amazon. I used the Blue Diamond Almond Butter for this recipe. Amelia said she uses one from her local health food store.