The Sweet Treat That Jasmine Hemsley Is Sending Her Mom For Mother's Day
I miss my mum like crazy these days! I'm quarantining here in Bromley, and she's in Surrey, about an hour's drive away. We've been keeping up to date on WhatsApp voice call and messages, and we both do a live morning qigong with Katie Brindle at 8 a.m. We often say hi in the comments to make sure we're both doing it, then catch up straight afterward, but it's just not the same. We've been blessed with some super sunny weather here in the U.K., so normally at this time of year, we'd be spending lots of time together sorting out my vegetable patch and cooking something delicious, which goes down exceptionally well after a long day in the fresh air.
I have a million memories of eating my mum's gorgeous, comforting homecooking, and Nick and I love cooking for her, too. For Mother's Day, I'm sending her a care package featuring something "crunchy and sweet" (per her request!) to go with a cup of tea. I'm hoping these Sweet Almond Cookies are a little quarantine pick-me-up.
A note for bakers: The recipe calls for the ingredients I like best, but if you don't have them, don't sweat it—you can always sub in the flour, sugar, and oil that you have available in your pantry.
Sweet Almond Cookies
Makes 7 cookies*
- 1 cup rice flour or tapioca flour
- 1 cup chickpea flour (or try buckwheat, rice, oat, chestnut, lentil, or almond)
- ½ tsp. baking powder
- ⅛ cup jaggery or coconut sugar**
- ½ cup ground almonds
- 2 tbsp. ghee or coconut oil, room temp (if your oil is very cold, you might want to warm it first)
- 2 tbsp. water
- 7 whole almonds, blanched***
- ⅛ tsp. almond extract (or more if you're a marzipan fan)
- Line a large baking tray with parchment and preheat the oven to 170°C.
- Sieve the flours and baking powder into a bowl (or use a whisk to combine and break down any lumps like I do) and stir to combine.
- Add the jaggery and ground almonds, and mix well.
- Add the ghee, the almond extract, and the water into the bowl, then beat with a wooden spoon to make a dough/paste. Taste a tiny piece and add a touch more almond extract, if you like.
- Take a walnut-size piece of dough and shape into a ball on the baking tray, leaving space between each to allow for spreading.
- Flatten lightly (or a lot) and place a blanched almond in the center of each cookie.
- Bake for 20 to 22 minutes at 150°C for crisper cookies or 170°C for 12 to 13 minutes if you want them crisp and crumbly. You can check on them once the oven timer goes and add on a minute or so.
- Remove from the oven. The cookies will still be a bit soft but harden as they cool. As soon as they are OK to handle, move to a wire rack and enjoy warm or at room temp.
- Store in an airtight box when completely cooked, for up to a week.
East by West tips:
*You can turn this recipe into almond thins by dividing the dough into 14 equal portions and flattening until each is 5 mm thick. Cook for 10 minutes at 150°C; check and add more cooking time if need be.
**If using maple syrup, reduce the water by at least a tablespoon.
***You can buy ready-blanched almonds, but if you don't have any, you can blanch your own by soaking in boiling water for a minute, then rinsing in cold water and slipping them out of their skins by pinching them.