A Tale of Two Melded Holiday Cookies

Butter Walnut Almond Meltaways

"They are addicting!"

This was said in Portuguese to my marido, as another cookie disappeared into the appreciator's mouth, not a minute after the previous one. It of course, made me smile to know that my mistake was being enjoyed even though that is exactly what this cookie was. A mistake. A flub. A fantastic snafu.

Originally this cookie recipe was meant to be two, but alas I screwed up. It was a realization that I had after I noticed it took twice as long to bake as the original recipe and the 3 or 4 batches of cookies were done. That's right, I didn't even realize 'till long after the fact that this seemed like the wrong dough and that the other was way different and more like the one for the cookie I had been trying to make.

I was in a rush the night before baking to get four different cookie doughs ready to bake the day after. If you've ever made that many cookie doughs where you also need to shell 1 1/2 kilos of walnuts for them in one night, and on top of that needed to make dinner for 6, you'd probably be in a rush too (If not, then I need to know your secret, ASAP). That is no excuse for not paying attention, but I'm glad I made my mistake.

the wee hours of (9am) the morning  after the night of dough, I wasn't thinking clearly, obviously. The dough I needed was supposed to be chilled for at least an hour before cooking. It was to be rolled into balls and then rolled around on toasted chopped walnuts in order to make a walnut version of Butter Pecan Cookies (Pecans don't seem to exist here, and if they did I think they'd be more than the pine nuts which go for $80/kilo. Yes, that is ment to be in dollars and not Euros). The dough I wound up with was different.

No need to refrigerate this dough. It was made with ground almonds and was drier, so much easier to roll into balls without it melting and sticking all over to your hands like the previous one. The amount of sugar was less as it was going to be rolled in powdered sugar and a couple of pinches of nutmeg after baking to make Nutmeg Meltaways.
Butter Walnut Almond Meltaways
So in my lapse of morning attention (I keep thinking back and wondering if I'd gotten my coffee at that point), I wound up mixing up my doughs, using the meltaway dough with the butter walnut nutsAnd it was good. So good, that this particular cookie wound up being for my nephew who is actually taking a culinary class as part of his high school credits (he gets to spend half of his school day there learning how to cook). This will show him that he doesn't have to make everything as it says in a recipe. There can be some mistakes and they can be delicious, maybe even better than the original.

Oh yeah,  I did have left over walnuts to be able to roll the other cookie dough in to make the correct Butter Walnut cookies also. it turned out really good too.
Butter Walnut Almond Meltaways

Butter Walnut Almond Meltaways

Adapted and Mixed up from Taste of Home Best Loved Cookies & Candies 2010 issue
  • 3/4 cup (approx 85g) ground almonds
  • 1 cup (226g) butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup (100g) sugar
  • 1 teaspoon (5ml) vanilla extract
  • 2 cups (260g) flour
  • 1 tablespoon (5ml) butter
  • A sprinkle of sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups (180g) chopped walnuts
Put ground almonds into a dry non stick pan over medium heat, tossing the nuts every so often so they don't stick or burn, until they reach a nice golden brown. Remove and set aside.

Cream butter, sugar and vanilla in a bowl until light and fluffy (I don't know about you, but mine is never exactly "fluffy". Lighter, yes. Fluffy, not so much. I mean it is butter after all). Add in flour a bit at a time, making sure to incorporate well with the mixer. Using a spatula or a wooden spoon, stir in ground almonds. Cover the bowl with plastic and place in the refrigerator for at least an hour (mine stayed in there over night).

In the same saute pan over medium heat, place the butter and allow it to melt before adding in the chopped walnuts. Toss the nuts in and coat with melted butter and sprinkle with sugar as they toast. Watch these carefully so they don't burn. Remove and set aside.

Grab a small amount of dough and roll it into a ball about 1 inch thick. Place said dough ball into the walnuts and roll it around, letting the nuts sink into the dough slightly. Pat the nuts into the dough and place on a prepared cookie sheet about a 1/2 inch apart. Rinse and Repeat with the rest of the dough and nuts.

Bake in a preheated oven at 325F (162C) for about 15-20 minutes depending on how hot your oven is or until a light golden brown.

Allow to cool before eating.


Jennifer said...

These look wonderful!!

Rochelle Ramos said...

Thank you Jennifer!