Almond-Butter Cookies

I don’t usually buy prepared baked goods, aside from bread. But I succumbed to a craving this week, and ended up baking anyway.


Fresh from the oven, yesterday.

I’m a big label-reader, and when I saw peanut butter cookies in a local bakery made from peanut butter, sugar, eggs, and nothing else, I remembered that I’d made them that way myself once or twice.

Why not try the easy peanut butter cookie recipe with almond butter instead? I think of almond butter as a step up nutritionally, but each one has advantages, as long as the product is minimally processed and doesn’t contain additives, according to this Globe and Mail article.

Also, I had more almond butter than peanut butter at home, and wanted to use some of it up. I combined two kinds of almond butter – thick almond butter in the opened jar, and more liquidy almond butter in the new jar. I figured they’d balance each other out.

I decided to top each cookie with a whole almond, à la Bonnie Stern, circa 1978, the year her Food Processor Cuisine/La Cuisine Tourbillon was published. I used to enjoy making (and eating!) her buttery Almond Cookies, each garnished with a whole blanched almond.

But no need for butter or flour in this week’s recipe. I based my cookies on this three-ingredient recipe for Best Peanut Butter Cookies Ever on, and a similar one on Kraft Canada’s website.

I used organic sugar, in part because I like the granular texture. It’s also less processed than regular white sugar, but I still try to consume it in moderation (most of the time!).

The cookies were delicious, especially after I let them cool!

Almond Butter Cookies

1 c. almond butter

3/4 c. organic sugar

1 egg, slightly beaten

whole almonds, 1 per cookie

1. Mix together almond butter, sugar and egg with wooden spoon.

2. Form batter into 1″ balls and place on cookie sheets lined with parchment paper. Leave space to allow them to spread.

3. Flatten each cookie with the palm of your hand, but leave them a little puffy.

4. Press whole almond into each cookie.

5. Bake 10 minutes at 350, or until baked through. Cookie will lift easily with a knife when done.

6. Cool briefly on cookie sheet, then transfer to wire rack to finish cooling.







Red Lentil Soup

With minus-double-digit weather outside, and a sore throat that’s lasted a full week, it was an easy choice for me to decide to make red lentil soup a couple of days ago.

It’s definitely a winter soup, thick and warming. Sometimes I like to purée it with an immersion blender, but this time I was happy to leave it chunky. It wasn’t very pretty, though, so I’m just including a picture of the vegetables.

vegs for soup

I have three go-to red lentil soup recipes, but this time used them only for inspiration. I referred to them to make sure my proportions of lentils, water and vegetables were on target.  The recipes I usually use are the Lemon-Lentil Soup from The Organic Kosher Cookbook, by Aviva Allen; Red Lentil, Vegetable & Barley Soup from MealLeaniYumm! by Norene Gilletz; and Lentil Vegetable Soup from Simply HeartSmart Cooking by Bonnie Stern.

This is the version I came up with a couple of days ago, inspired by my favourite soup recipes and the ingredients in my kitchen:

Red Lentil Soup

2 tbsp. olive oil

3 shallots, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 stalks celery

1 1/2 cups baby carrots, cut in pieces

1 yellow squash

2 cups red lentils, rinsed

8 cups of water

basil, oregano and thyme to taste

2 tbsp. fresh parsley

salt and pepper to taste

1. Sauté onion and garlic until just starting to brown.

2. Add the rest of the vegetables, and stir together.

3. Add lentils, water and spices.

4. Bring to boil, then turn down heat, and simmer 30 minutes.

5. Add parsley, and cook five more minutes.

6. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Enjoy! (It’s even better the next day.)