Great news, guys! The universe gave my plan to get more sleep a giant cosmic high-five.
Shortly after I posted about my resolution to sleep more and work less, I was stricken with the flu-flu, which is the clever name I just coined for when the influenza-flu and the stomach-flu get together and have a demon baby, which quickly invades with the wrath of a thousand angry samurai warriors. No sooner had I written, “Waaah, I want to sleep! I want to have time to read books like a fancy person!” than I was collapsed in a whimpering, sweaty mess on the sofa, wishing for sweet death and pressing “play” on another episode of Sesame Street for my poor neglected child. It was gnarly. Do not mess with the flu-flu.
So, whether I wanted to or not, I had plenty of time to lay around and sleep and attempt to read. Thanks, universe! Fortunately, I’m almost-kinda-mostly recovered, and even more fortunately, I made and photographed some things before the black plague struck my house, so we have a beautiful recipe to drool over today! May I present, for your drooling pleasure, Raspberry Almond Chocolate Chunk Cookies.
As regular readers might know, I’m more than a little obsessed with freeze-dried fruit, especially raspberries. (Please see Exhibits A, B, and C). They just do such an amazing job of imparting bold raspberry flavor, without any of the excess liquid problems fresh or frozen raspberries can create, that I want to stick them in everything. Yes, even meatloaf. Deal with it.
So it had been my plan to add my favorite freeze-dried raspberries to a chocolate chip cookie recipe for awhile, but when the time came, I thought they might need something more. Something to give them a little extra dimension…so I added almond paste and chopped toasted almonds as well.
The almond paste is a fantastic addition: it adds a pronounced but not overwhelming almond flavor, as well as a moistness and softness that is ideal in chocolate chip cookies. The almonds bring crunch, while the scattered bits of raspberries give the perfect tart bite. And I don’t think I need to tell you how great the big pockets of melted chocolate are. (Hint: really great.)
Enjoy, kittens! And watch out for that flu-flu.
Raspberry Almond Chocolate Chunk Cookies
- 4 oz almond paste soft, cubed
- 5 2/3 oz brown sugar (3/4 cup), lightly packed
- 1 3/4 oz granulated sugar (1/4 cup)
- 6 oz butter at room temperature
- 1 egg at room temperature
- 1 egg yolk at room temperature
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 9 oz all-purpose flour (2 cups)
- 2 tsp corn starch
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 6 oz semi-sweet chocolate chunks (1 cup)
- 3/4 cup almonds toasted, coarsely chopped
- 1 cup freeze-dried raspberries
Combine the almond paste, brown sugar, and granulated sugar in the bowl of a large stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Turn the mixer to low and mix the almond paste and sugars together, until the paste is worked into the sugar and the mixture is coarse crumbs.
Add the butter, and cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about 1-2 minutes. Add the egg, yolk, and vanilla extract, and beat until combined.
In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, corn starch, baking soda, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the mixing bowl and turn the mixer to low, mixing until just a few flour streaks remain. Turn the mixer off and mix the dough the rest of the way by hand, scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Add the chocolate chunks, chopped almonds, and freeze-dried raspberries, and stir them in until everything is well-mixed.
Wrap the dough tightly in cling wrap, and refrigerate it until firm, about 2 hours. (Dough can be made several days ahead and kept in the refrigerator until ready to bake.) Once the dough is firm, preheat the oven to 350 F. Scoop the dough into large (1 1/2”) balls, and place on a parchment-covered baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until cookies are puffed and starting to brown around the edges. Remove from the oven and let cool at room temperature on the baking sheet.
This recipe requires almond paste, which is often found in the baking aisle near the marzipan. It can also be purchased online. If you would like to try making your own, here is a recipe for homemade almond paste you can make from scratch. Whichever type of almond paste you choose, make sure that it is soft, like play-doh, not hard, dried up, or crusty.
As written, the cookies will have a subtle but noticeable almond flavor. If you prefer a stronger almond taste, add 1/2 tsp almond extract to the recipe when you add the vanilla extract.