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Cookies from the Toaster Oven

By Wendy Akin


Tags: baking, recipes, cookies, nuts, desserts, almonds, pistachios, chocolate, pecans, lemon, saving energy, Texas, Wendy Akin,

 

By now, I’ve gotten past the glut of cookies from Christmas, and there are no more in the freezer. With temperatures soaring well into the 90s, we can’t bear to light the oven — so refrigerator cookies to the rescue!

Just mix up the dough, pop it into the freezer and, when the Cookie Monster attacks, slice off a few and bake for instant cookie gratification. 

I mixed up the dough for these while I was in cookie-baking mode last December. The dough keeps for months in the freezer.  My little toaster oven does a great job baking eight or 10 cookies, uses very little electricity itself, doesn’t heat up the kitchen, and saves the air conditioning.

The variety is endless — see some flavor ideas below. Start with the basic dough and add to it. Pictured are the toasted almond kind. They’re buttery, tender, melt-in-your-mouth cookies.

Recipe for Basic Cookie Dough

Ingredients:

• 2 ½ cups all purpose unbleached flour
• ½ tsp salt
• ¾ tsp baking powder
• 2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter
• 1 cup cane sugar (organic if possible)
• 1 tsp vanilla
• ½ tsp almond extract
• 1 large egg

Directions:

1. Mix the dry ingredients in a small bowl.

2. Cream butter and sugar, add the egg and the vanilla and almond extract and cream until light. With the mixer on “stir”, slowly add in the dry ingredients just until the dough sticks together and the dry ingredients are well incorporated. Don’t overmix after adding flour — you’ll develop gluten and your cookies will be tough.

3. Spread a sheet of plastic wrap on the counter. Wet your hands so the dough doesn’t stick. With the hands, form the dough into 3 logs, about 1½ inches thick and 5 inches long. Wrap each log firmly in plastic wrap and freeze in a zipper freezer bag.

4. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Let the roll of dough sit out for just a few minutes to partially thaw. Line the baking pan of your toaster oven with parchment. Slice the dough about ¼-inch thick and place on the parchment about ½-inch apart.

5. Bake the cookies for 10 to 12 minutes until lightly golden. Remove to a cooling rack unless the cookies are already eaten.

Toasted Almond Cookies Recipe

Additional ingredients (added to basic recipe above):

• 1 cup almonds, skin on

• Additional ½ tsp almond extract

Directions:

1. Toast almonds for 8 minutes at 350 degrees. They will be lightly browned throughout. Let cool, then grind in the mini-processor to about 50 percent meal and 50 percent chopped.

2. Measure the dry ingredients into a bowl and stir together then stir in the almonds.

3. Proceed with basic directions.

Cardamom-Pistachio Cookies Recipe

Additional ingredients (added to basic recipe above):

• ½ tsp ground cardamom or 6 whole cardamom pods*
• 1 cup shelled pistachios

Directions:

1. Measure the 1 cup of sugar in the basic recipe.

2. Snip open six whole green cardamom pods, and take out the seeds. Put the seeds with ¼ cup of the recipe sugar into a coffee grinder and grind. Return this to the measuring cup.

3. Toast the pistachios for 5 min in a 350-degree oven. Let cool, then grind in the mini processor until well chopped and about half of the nuts are a meal texture.

4. Measure the dry ingredients into a bowl and stir together. Then, stir in the pistachios.

5. Proceed with basic directions.

Chocolate Cookies Recipe

Additional ingredients (added to basic recipe above):

• Add ½ cup good unsweetened cocoa powder into the dry ingredients.
• Add 1 tsp espresso powder or a couple teaspoons instant coffee if you like.

Pecan Sandies Recipe

Additional ingredients (added to basic recipe above):

• Add a cup of ground pecans to the dry ingredients.

Lemon Cookies Recipe

Additional ingredients (added to basic recipe above):

• Add 1 Tbsp of grated lemon peel

I’m sure you can come up with even more cookie flavors.

Wendy Akin is happy to share her years of traditional skills knowledge. Over the years, she’s earned many state fair ribbons for pickles, relishes, preserves and special condiments, and even a few for breads. Read all of Wendy’s MOTHER EARTH NEWS posts here.


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