I had never tried a baking emulsion until last week. One of my best baking/blogging friends sent me a bottle of lemon emulsion and I really want to try it, but I am waiting for warmer, Springier, more lemony type, weather. So with my curiosity about baking emulsions piqued and an extra twenty dollars floating around my bag, I ran into Home Goods (because of it’s reputation for carrying a wide assortment of discounted baking emulsions) to see what I could find. I didn’t hit the jackpot, but the trip was worthwhile. I found a bottle of vanilla bean paste (another thing I have been meaning to try) and almond emulsion.
When I got home, I opened the bottle of almond emulsion- just to smell it- and it reminded me of something I haven’t thought about in years. Amaretto. Back in my college, just starting to discover alcohol, but not sophisticated enough to try something that doesn’t taste like dessert days, one of my favorites was Amaretto and cream. I know- I’m trying not to think about how many calories I consumed in an average night. But there is something about the memory of that flavor that I wanted to try to capture in an actual dessert (now that I focus on EATING my calories instead of DRINKING them). And there is something about approaching Valentines Day that makes me want to cover the whole thing in chocolate.
So- firstly: is the picture a little busy? I got carried away with the Valentines features on PicMonkey (almost carried away enough to sign up for the paid package). Secondly: I’m going to share the recipe I used,because it tasted REALLY good, however something happened in the baking process which caused the surface to bump and crack a little. I’m not sure what it was and I’ll play around a little the next time I can make cookies for fun and see if I can find the issue. Since they are covered in chocolate, the surface of the cookie didn’t matter much. In fact, I also used some cookies from this batch for a few upcoming projects and the surface didn’t even effect the royal icing. SO it might not even matter.
Chocolate Cherry Almond Cookies (adapted from LilaLoa’s Vanilla Variation)
- 2 sticks of unsalted butter- room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract)
- 1 tsp almond emulsion
- 2 large eggs-room temperature
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 4 cups all purpose flour
- 1 cup mini chocolate chips (or semisweet chocolate finely chopped)
- 1/2 cup almonds (finely chopped in a food processor)
- 1/2 cup dried sour cherries (cut into small pieces)
- Preheat oven to 375F, line your baking sheets with parchment
- In a standing mixer, beat the butter until it is soft- scrape the sides of the bowl if needed
- Add the sugar and beat until fluffy
- Add the vanilla and almond emulsion, then add each egg beating between additions
- Add baking powder and salt, mix until combined
- Add flour- one cup at a time and mix until combined.
- Using about a quarter of the dough at a time, knead the dough until a smooth ball forms (you may need to coat your surface with a bit of flour, but the dough shouldn’t be too sticky). Roll out the dough to 3/8 inch and cut out your shapes.
- Bake for about 9-12 minutes depending on your oven. I checked after nine and needed another 1 1/2.
- When the cookies are finished, take them out of the oven and immediately sprinkle with about 1 tbsp chocolate chips (depending on the size of your shape)
- Let the chocolate sit for about 2-3 minutes until it starts to melt then use an off set spatula to spread the chocolate.
- Immediately drop on some cherries and chopped almonds.
- Let the cookie sit until the chocolate hardens and the cookie cools completely.
If you let these sit for a day or two, in an airtight container, the cookie will get really soft and the flavors of the chocolate, cherry, and almond will marry. In this case, it’s okay to have a marriage of three.
Yes, that heart bokeh is one of the PicMonkey effects.