Almendrados (almond cookies)

Almendrados may be my new favorite cookies. They are flour-less almond cookies and oh man are they good! I had never heard of them until recently when I discovered them while searching for new Christmas cookies to make, but I figured I would like them since I love pretty much anything that is almond-flavored.

I actually didn’t make this batch, but will write about them anyway since I ate quite a few :) Almendrados have a delicious almond flavor and are fairly chewy, which makes them pretty unique compared to most cookies I’ve ever eaten. They would be great if you are looking for gluten-free cookies, since they still taste a lot like regular cookies. According to the recipe I found, almendrados are from a region in Spain with very little wheat, but lots of almond trees.  Pretty interesting!

Here’s the recipe we used. If you like almonds, I would highly recommend that you try them.  From what I hear, they aren’t very hard to make! The recipe calls for whole blanched almonds and I couldn’t find any in the store, so I bought almond slivers that had been blanched, and that seemed to work fine.

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Christmas tree spritz cookies

When I think about Christmas food, one of the first things that comes to mind is, of course, Christmas cookies!  Between the baking, decorating, exchanging, and eating of Christmas cookies, it just wouldn’t seem like Christmas without them.  One of my favorite kinds of Christmas cookies is Christmas tree spritz cookies.  When I was growing up, they were never one of my absolute favorites (I think I always went for something that was chocolatey and/or covered in icing), but sometime a few years ago, I discovered a newfound love for them.  Since I got a cookie press for Christmas last year, now I can even make them at home! Here are a few of the ones that I made the other day:

The recipe was just from the box for the cookie press, so I won’t repeat it here.  However, I think it is key to find a recipe that calls for almond extract, which is, in my opinion, what gives them their semi-addictive quality.

Last time I used my cookie press, things went really well and it was very easy to use.  This time, I was not so lucky.  For whatever reason, the cookies did not want to stick to the cookie sheet as they came out of the cookie press, creating quite the problem.  I’m not entirely sure why not, but the most helpful approach seemed to be refrigerating the dough for a few minutes (despite the fact that the recipe explicitly said not to do this).

After resolving the dough problem, here is the first successful cookie sheet full of spritz cookies:

The cookies were delicious in the end!  As an added bonus, they have definitely put me in the holiday spirit.  What is your favorite kind of Christmas cookie?