I highly recommend being young at heart. I’m pretty sure it’s good for the soul. Kind of like singing. Loud. Anywhere. Like in the shower. Using the shampoo bottle as the microphone. I’m just offering suggestions. Really, you can sing into whatever you want. Like the bar of soap, for instance. Personally, I’m partial to Simon and Garfunkel in the shower. Cecilia, you’re breakin’ my heart, you’re shakin’ my confidence daily… But, you know- to each his own…
Anyway, back to the young at heart thing. I’ve noticed something about Scott. He’s become a milk drinker. I can usually tell what he’s had for dinner based on the dishes next to the sink. Now I’d hate to give you the impression that his meals are un-square but… when all I see are a few crumbs and an empty glass of milk, well, I can make a fairly accurate assessment.
Lo and behold. Someone has been eating cookies and milk for dinner. But to be truly young at heart, you really must be a dunker. You must hold that cookie in your glass of milk sooooo long that it becomes fully saturated and nearly falls to the bottom of the glass. This is simply how it’s done. So if you find that you’re striving to be young at heart, I suggest that you give this cookie-milk-dunker-dinner thing a try. I’ve been taking lessons from Scott and I think I may have a knack for it!
Almond-chocolate sandwich cookies barely adapted from The Baker’s Dozen Cookbook
yields 40 individual cookies, 20 sandwiches
- 1 cup whole raw almonds, toasted and cooled
- 3/4 cup plus 3 Tablespoons sugar
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- scant 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 8 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 1 large egg
- 1/8 teaspoon almond extract
- 5 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
Place the fully cooled almonds and 3 Tablespoons of the sugar in the bowl of a food processor, and grind to the consistency of fine cornmeal. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and remaining sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the bowl and add the egg, extract, and almond mixture, beating to combine. Scrape down the bowl, and add the flour mixture on low speed, mixing just until combined. Cover tightly and refrigerate the dough for at least 4 hours, or overnight.
Place an oven rack in the center position, and preheat the oven to 350°. Line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
Measure the dough in to 1-teaspoon sized portions. Place 2 portions at a time on the palm of your hand and roll them to make 2 individual balls. (This is simply faster than rolling one ball at a time!) Place the balls 1-1/2 inches apart on the baking sheets, and bake, one tray at a time, until the cookies are lightly golden all over, about 10-12 minutes.
Cool the cookies on the baking sheet for about 3 minutes, then remove them to a cooling rack.
Prepare a double boiler by placing a heat-proof bowl over a pot of shallow, simmering water- do not allow the water to touch the base of the bowl. Place the chocolate in the bowl and stir every-so often until it is completely melted. Using a small knife or spoon, spread about 1/2 teaspoon of chocolate on the bottom of one cookie, then sandwich with another cookie. Repeat until all the sandwiches have been made. Allow to cool for at least 2 hours to allow the chocolate to harden (or give them a brief stint in the refrigerator). Once cooled, store in an air-tight container.
Don’t forget the tall glass of milk!