School is almost over down here. Every year it seems we need to pack more into those last few weeks of school. It’s exhausting.
Here I go again….I’m going to admit hard truths. So here it goes…. I would burn the whole wold to the ground for my kids. I would pretty much do anything for these kids….they along with their Father are the centers of my universe. That said….I really do in all honesty dread the end of school. I have come to really enjoy those few hours a day when I can run errands with out loading and unloading my car of children whose goal seems to be making running errands as difficult as possible. I know how terrible my admission sounds but it is none the less true.
While my kids are at school I am a “doing” machine! I clean, I shop, I cook, I bake, I write, I complete a thought. I can talk on the phone without having two little people pulling on me or fighting in what simply must be a plan to drive me mad. Oh, while admitting things….I admit that when I’m home I enjoy wearing lounging pants. Yes I dress properly the moment I leave this house, but if I am to be home for more than an hour I change into my lounging pants. You know the kind… They are almost pajama pants but are better looking (only slightly). I’m wearing them now. I make myself feel better about it because I most often buy them at Chico’s. It’s kind of a fancy store so how bad could this lounging pants thing be? You should know that I only buy from the clearance rack so am in no way bragging. I almost never pay full price…for anything if I can help it. I mention the pants because I feel sort of guilty not keeping my proper street clothes on all day. Like I’m breaking a Mommy rule. I read someplace that we are supposed to wake early and dress up each and every day. Make up…hair the whole bit. I sort of do that….until I change into my secret lounge pants. Sigh.
Anyhow, my original point was that with the kids home all day I feel compelled to keep them busy and entertained. Swimming classes…art classes….weekly field trips (just me and the kids) to every kid attraction around. The truth is I get tired of that schedule very quickly. I find myself really missing that quiet time when they are safely at school. Yes….I am hanging my head in shame…again. I seem to do that a lot.
However…there is an up side to my summer doldrums. Planning!! Beginning in July I start planning my Fall decor. I start making wreaths….attaching cinnamon sticks to candles and pine cones…I love pine cones. I am indeed the only person I know with all my holiday books and magazines out in July. It helps me get through summer. The kids love to help make holiday decorations. Busy hands…and all that.
The thought of summer coming at me full steam makes me need a cookie. Summer is long…kids are loud and messy. It better be a good cookie.
Almond Paste Cookies with Chocolate Chips ~ Tamatha Mavraides
3.5 ounces Almond Paste
2 sticks (1/2lb.) butter softened
3/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups All-purpose flour
1 teaspoon espresso powder
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 1/2 cups best quality chocolate chips
about 3/4 cup cake flour (add a 1/4 cup at a time)
Here we go…
In a separate bowl combine the all-purpose flour, salt, baking powder and espresso powder. Mix well.
In the work bowl of your standing mixer Cream the almond paste until it lightens up and becomes a bit fluffy. Scrape the bowl then add the butter. Cream the almond paste and the butter together until the mixture if lightened and well combined.
Add the sugars to the butter mixture and cream the butter mixture and sugars together.
Add the eggs one at a time and mix well after each egg. Then add the extract. Mix well.
Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture. Mix to combine but not further.
Add the chips and give it all a quick mix.
The texture I like is a little stiffer than regular cookie dough. I get that by adding the cake flour. It tightens up the dough but not the cookie. They stay soft and high. These are not thin crisp cookies. They don’t spread very much (if the texture of the dough is right).
Move the dough to a zip top bag and refrigerate the dough for at least an hour up to over night.
Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees for at least 30 minutes.
I like to use a cookie scoop. They come in all sorts of sizes and the baking time will depend on the size scoop you use. I used a 1 1/2 tablespoon size scoop.
I like to slightly flatten the balls of dough with the heel of my hand (SLIGHTLY) to encourage the cookies to be even as opposed to being extra thick in the center.
The size cookies I made bake for about 11 minutes on convection. Times vary based on size.
The flavor and texture the almond paste adds is divine. Do not use marzipan. It must be almond paste. Marzipan has more sugar and will be terrible.
Cool….dunk in milk….repeat.