SOURCE: Almond Board of California

Almond Board of California

November 17, 2011 07:30 ET

Twelve Days of Cookies Guide Inspires Holiday Bakers With Delicious Cookie Recipes Featuring Almonds

Free Guide Packed With Recipes and Tips for Holiday Cookies

MODESTO, CA--(Marketwire - Nov 17, 2011) - The winter holidays and baking go hand in hand, and almonds -- in all of their tasty forms -- are the perfect ingredient for any festive affair. Whether hosting your own cookie exchange party or attending the annual office mixer, "Twelve Days of Cookies," the new holiday guide from Almond Board of California, is designed to help manage the busiest of baking seasons and is available free at www.AlmondBoard.com/holidaybaking.

The color guide features a generous baker's dozen (14) cookie recipes and tempting photography, from classic Almond Crunch cookies to modern, gluten-free treats. In addition, savvy tips for successful baking and ideas for planning the perfect holiday cookie party round out the downloadable -- and printable -- guide. For example:

Secure the Goods: Cookie party guests will have their original container in which to take home their new cookies, but a good host will provide extras: waxed or parchment paper, plastic wrap, and even paper muffin liners are a great way to safely secure some messy or fragile cookies.

"Every year, I give my family and friends little boxes of holiday treats I bake from scratch. And each year, I include a different cookie made from almonds," says pastry chef Jenny McCoy of Craft in New York City. "They are the perfect ingredient to use because of their versatility -- in all their forms, almonds give my recipes a distinctly rich, nutty flavor and classic crunch that always pleases a crowd."

Here's just one of the new recipes from the guide designed to help make this a tasty holiday:

Pumpkin Almond Chocolate Chip Cookies
These airy cookies are the perfect match to a cup of hot chocolate or coffee. Their texture is tender and muffin-like: for an even crispier exterior, use all brown sugar and bake a few minutes longer. For a super-fluffy crumb, use pumpkin puree without reducing. This recipe yields about 6 dozen cookies.

Ingredients:
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. cinnamon or 2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup almond butter
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 cup reduced pumpkin puree or pumpkin butter*
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup diced almonds, toasted
1 cup chocolate chips

Preparation:
In a medium bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, salt and spices and set aside. In the large bowl of an electric mixer, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg, pumpkin and vanilla and mix until just combined. On medium-low speed, add flour mixture until fully incorporated. Remove bowl from mixer and stir in almonds and chocolate chips. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto a greased or lined cookie sheet and flatten slightly with the back of a spatula. Bake at 350˚ F degrees for 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

*To make pumpkin butter, reduce pumpkin puree in a pan over medium heat, stirring frequently, for at least an hour, until color becomes a deep brown. Packaged pumpkin butter may contain additional sweeteners and flavors; so adjust recipe to taste.

About Almond Board of California
Consumers all over the world enjoy California Almonds as a natural, wholesome and quality food product, making almonds California's leading agricultural export in terms of value. The Almond Board of California promotes almonds through its research-based approach to all aspects of marketing, farming and production on behalf of the more than 6,000 California Almond growers and processors, many of whom are multi-generational family operations. Established in 1950 and based in Modesto, California, the Almond Board of California is a non-profit organization that administers a grower-enacted Federal Marketing Order under the supervision of the United States Department of Agriculture. For more information on the Almond Board of California or almonds, visit AlmondBoard.com.

Contact Information