I am not a very culinarily daring person. I prefer to make and eat the very same things over and over and over. I want to eat what I know I'll like. However, I recently tried something new and am overjoyed with how well it turned out. Maybe time to stretch my food wings?
My Mom performed a major pantry overhaulin' and (minus Chip Foose) managed to completely reorganize and clean. She called me to come over and take home a bunch of pantry items she wasn't going to use. One of the random things included this:
For those of you who can't read extremely tiny out of focus print it says 'Just Hazelnut Meal - Great for Baking and Breading.' She gave me two bags of this weird fluffy mealy stuff. One is Hazelnut, one is Almond and she purchased them at Trader Joes.
Now, being a good little Dutch Girl, I love almond flavored everything. Almost ALL of our cookies taste like almonds, and many also have slivered almonds in them. My favorite chocolate even has almonds in it. I had to try this almond meal stuff. My ancestry commanded it.
The label says it is great for baking and breading and to substitute it for up to half of the flour in a recipe. It will add extra flavor and texture.
So last Friday Bubbalu and I made some Valentine's Day heart cut-out cookies using this Almond Meal stuff. After baking and frosting the cookies, Bubbalu helped me decorate.
First off, shake 18 million tiny sprinkles on the counter and floor and maybe 100 sprinkles on the actual cookies:
Then proceed to lick red hots and smash them into the frosting:
And we're done! Oh wait, repeat the process AGAIN? More sprinkles:
and more pre-licked red hots:
And finally FINALLY, we are done. Bubbalu got to eat one small cookie after we were done and despite the funny look on his face, he very much enjoyed it:
These cookies are AMAZING y'all, AMAZING. Cut-out cookies are already mighty tasty in my book because butter, sugar, flour...what's not to like? Then add in some Almond Meal? Positively divine.
And yes, I do realize that ground up almonds add a fair amount of fat, but as they say, it's a good fat. Because yes, that is what runs through my head when I can grab blub around my middle..."it's OK! It's a GOOD fat!". Um, no. We'll be eating these treats in moderation folks. Cause that's what's it's all about...(thank you for the insight Mr. Hokey Pokey).
I am anxious to try more of the Almond or Hazelnut Meal in other baked goods, maybe muffins or biscotti.
Anyone else baked with these Meals before? And if so, please leave a comment with any good hints, tips or recipes...