Monday, December 16, 2013

Cashew Cookies & Burnt Butter Icing

My sister makes these cookies almost every Christmas.  
The first time she told me what they were - I thought, well cashews are a great way to ruin a cookie!  
And then, I tasted one.
They were delightful.  Yes, they - I definitely had more than one. 
I've realized that nuts, fruits and seeds don't ALWAYS ruin a perfectly tasty dessert - haha. 
Well, that sister is in Haiti until 2 days before Christmas so I'm left to make my own 
delicious, addictive, freezable, share-able, oh-so-tasty
Cashew Cookies!

Preheat oven to 375

1/2 cup softened butter
1 cup brown sugar (packed)
1 egg
1/3 cup 0% Greek yogurt (you can use sour cream if that's what you keep on hand)
1/2 tsp vanilla

Cream butter and sugar until fluffy.  Add egg, yogurt and vanilla and mix well.  

2 cups flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt

1 1/2 - 2 cups cashews
     I used whole cashews because I knew my stand mixer would break them down.  If you are using your hands, or a hand mixer you will want to use cashew halves. 

Mix dry ingredients in a bowl and add to the wet ingredients in thirds until well mixed.  Once dry and wet are combined add cashews and mix again.  

I used my lovely melon baller scoop to make evenly sized 1 inch ball cookies, and baked them for 8 minutes.  If you are using a bigger scoop put the timer on for 8 minutes and have a peek, they may need up to 11 minutes depending on the size.  Bake until just lightly browned.   They will seem spongy but if they're brown they're done :)

Let cookies cool completely before icing.  Don't bother eating a bunch of the cookies without icing, they are ok - but they aren't amazing without the icing.  Trust me on this one.  

1/2 cup butter, browned and cooled to room temperature
1/4 tsp vanilla
2 cups icing sugar
2 tbsp cream (heavy cream, full fat milk, whatever you have will be fine)

If you missed the post where I made burnt butter icing for my Shortbread Saturns, first of all - you're missing out -   Second of all, to brown butter - place butter in sauce pan on medium high heat.  The butter will melt and as it stays on the heat it will start to brown and smell very much like caramel.  Swirl the pan or stir the butter to ensure the brown bits don't settle and become black bits - and that's it.  Once the butter is a lovely brown colour and smells like heaven, take it off the heat and let it come back to room temperature before making icing.  

Ice the cookies and enjoy!  If you want to store these in the cupboard, let them "dry" on the counter (maybe under a towel) for the night before packing them away.  If you plan on freezing them for Christmas, just line a baking tray with the cookies - pop in the freezer until solid (2 hours) and then transfer to an airtight container.  When thawing, be sure to separate the cookies so they don't begin to stick together.  

Bon Appetit!

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