Sunday, May 20, 2007

Cashew Later

It's been a while since I've baked.

At least I think so. You'll forgive me if it's been a bit of a blur around here the past month or more, what with everything going on. And I have to admit that I haven't been overly keen on having a lot of sweet foods around.

So this evening I decided to compromise. I wanted to have some cookies on hand to satisfy that after-dinner snack craving, but I didn't want them to be too sweet. Astonishingly, that meant I was in no mood for chocolate.

(I know, I know... someone check that lady's pulse!)

What I did find, though, was a recipe in King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking for a Salted Cashew Cookie that sounded just right. And believe it or not, for once I had all the ingredients and didn't have to tweak the whole recipe from the beginning!

Well, I didn't have to, but I did. But only a little!

Astonishingly, the recipe didn't call for any flour at all... just ground oats and cashews, making for a nice, nubbly sort of dough with a lot of fragrance. And I admit that I added to that wonderful cookie dough aroma by throwing in a bit of ground cardamom, one of my favorite spices, to play up the cashew and vanilla flavors already in the mix.

It was easy enough to mix up the dough and scoop out the first batch of cookies while my homemade pizza baked for dinner, and once the pizza came out, in went the cookies.

Less than fifteen minutes later, out they came, smelling to high heaven of toasted cashews and oats, sweet cardamom, and buttery goodness. Irresistible, in fact!

These cookies were just what I was looking for -- something not too sweet, seriously nutty (like me), and utterly satisfying.

If you'll excuse me, I think I hear them calling my name.

And if you'll pardon the expression, I'll cashew later!

Salted Cashew-Crunch Cookies

This recipe (with my slight addition of ground cardamom) comes directly from the King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking cookbook. All goodness should be attributed to the authors, not to me.

1/2 c unsalted butter
3/4 c sugar (I used 1/2 c cane juice crystals and 1 T or so Sucanat)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cardamom
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg
2 c old-fashioned rolled oats, ground for 30 seconds in a food processor
2 c salted cashew pieces (I used the remaining 1 c cashews in my pantry, ground with the oats)
extrafine salt for topping (I omitted)

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.

Beat the butter, sugar, salt, baking powder, cardamom, vanilla, and egg in a medium bowl. Beat in the ground oats, then the cashews.

Drop the dough by tablespoonfuls onto the prepared baking sheets. Sprinkle them with a very light coating of salt. Use fingers to press the cookies to about 3/8" thick.

Bake cookies until light golden brown, 12 to 14 minutes. Remove cookies from the oven and allow them to cool right on the pan.

Makes up to 2 1/2 dozen cookies


At 5/21/2007 7:45 AM, Blogger Anne said...

It sounds utterly amazing! Any chance of sharing the recipe, pretty please?

/hungry Anne

At 5/21/2007 5:18 PM, Blogger The Baklava Queen said...

Dear hungry Anne,

Since you asked so nicely, how can I resist? See above, and enjoy!


At 5/21/2007 10:34 PM, Blogger Alyssa said...

I've been contemplating cashew butter cookies or other nut butters besides peanut butter. Any experience with that?

At 5/22/2007 7:30 AM, Blogger The Baklava Queen said...

No, I don't really use other nut butters, though I'm often tempted. I imagine you could use them in equal proportions, but you may have to experiment a bit.

I will say that in a couple of recipes, a friend and I have tried substituting peanut butter for half the butter, and it worked out just fine. So I think you're certainly safe to give it a try. (And when you do, drop a line and let me know how it works out!)

At 5/23/2007 5:42 PM, Blogger ambrosia ananas said...

I just found your post with the cheese and jam tart recipe--this is my new favorite blog. Thanks.

At 5/23/2007 6:45 PM, Blogger ambrosia ananas said...

Also, the dark chocolate seduction torte looks beautiful. I don't suppose you'd post (or email) the recipe if I begged, pleaded, and groveled?

If it didn't sound like you live on the opposite side of the country, I'd try bribery. (Linzer torte a la Pierre Herme. Or pineapple mango salsa chicken over herbed rice.)

At 5/24/2007 7:45 AM, Blogger The Baklava Queen said...

Welcome, Ambrosia! (And your nom de plume makes me awfully glad I have a pint of pineapple-coconut ice cream in the freezer!)

I'm glad you are enjoying a selection of recipes. But as tempting as a Linzer torte sounds, I'm afraid the Dark Chocolate Seduction Torte is still a pretty tightly-kept secret recipe... it's about the only one I have left! :-)

At 5/24/2007 1:42 PM, Blogger ambrosia ananas said...

Thanks. : )

And I can't say I blame you--it looks like a secret worth keeping. If you ever decide to sell a cookbook or start selling your goodies online, though, I'll be all over it. That torte just looks so good.

At 5/24/2007 2:54 PM, Blogger The Baklava Queen said...

I'll bear it in mind!


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