It was a bit of a shock to glance at the calendar this morning and see that Valentine's Day was only a week away! To be honest, I haven't felt winter yet. I don't think we've had an inch of snow so far this winter. We've had a lot of rain. The grass is green. The trees are leafless but the birds don't seem to mind. Cardinals and finches are our main visitors right now. I don't know who their choreographer is but they put on quite a show. They swoop and land, swoop and land spreading out on the branches. Sometimes they seem to line up for the feeders. At other times, they don't always wait their turn and roust those who take too long dining. One particularly delightful species is the Northern Orange Cardinal. I'd never seen one until we moved here last year. Flashes of brilliant orange kept capturing my eye. I knew the bird was a cardinal but had never seen such brilliance. I Googled "orange cardinal" and there he was--the Northern Orange!!
Back to Valentine's Day. These cookies are delicious, package well and keep well. Well, if one doesn't eat them right away.
Almond Butter Cookies adapted from the Chicago Tribune
1 cup brown sugar
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup almond butter (or creamy peanut butter)
1 large egg
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp almond extract
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3 Tbsp granulated sugar
1. Beat the brown sugar, butter and almond butter together until light and fluffy. Add the egg, vanilla and almond extract and mix in. Add the flour, baking soda and salt. Stir only until combined. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill at least an hour to overnight.
2. Preheat the oven to 350. Roll the dough into 1-inch balls and coat in the sugar. Transfer to a lightly sprayed cookie sheet and place 2 inches apart. Using a fork, press the cookies down slightly using a criss-cross pattern.
3. Bake until firm with golden brown edges, about ten minutes. Cool slightly on baking sheet and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.
To be really decadent, dip half of each cookie into melted chocolate.