Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Almond Cocoa Nib Sticks and a Giveaway!

almond sticks

Unlike some of my caring, thoughtful and meticulous friends, who have started Christmas baking and packing well ahead of time, I procastinate. I blame everything on the jetlag since I returned from Asia last Thursday.The horrible food on board, various transits and the long hours flights have zapped out most of my energy. All I want to do, is curling up on my favorite spot, drooling over the food photos on tastespotting and foodgawker and eating the snacks I sneaked in from Malaysia.

Having said that, I have shortlisted some cookies to be included in my baking list this holiday, and a list of friends, who may receive the cookies. (It all depends on whether I could bake and send them out on time! )

almond sticks2

One of the cookies I intend to make this year is Almond Cocoa Nib Sticks from Alice Medrich's Bittersweet.I have made them once to be sent overseas. Not only are they sturdy enough to withstand the potential abuse when mailed; according to OCT, they taste pretty darn good too. So good that he who usually doesn't like cookies can't stop munching them. I have to stop OCT from snatching yet another stick in order to have enough to fill up a box I need to send.

The almond cocoa nib sticks are not as hard as biscotti but don't crumble as easily as shortbread cookies. They would be perfect by the side of a steaming cup of tea. Although OCT would add that it tastes just as awesome as it is-buttery, nutty, crunchy with a hint of cacao.



Almond Cocoa Nib Sticks
adopted from Alice Medrich's- Bittersweet

3/4 cup (3 3/4 ounces) whole blanched almonds
1 cup plus 2 T. all-purpose flour
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 t. salt
6 T. unsalted butter, cut into chunks
2 T. water
1 t. pure vanilla extract
1/8 t. pure almond extract
1/4 cup Cocoa Nibs

Combine the almonds, flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor, and pulse until the almonds are reduced to a fine meal. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture looks like a mass of crumbs. Combine the water, vanilla, and almond extract, drizzle them into the processor bowl and pulse just until the dough looks damp. Add the cocoa nibs and pulse only until evenly dispersed.

The dough will not form a smooth cohesive mass - it will be crumbly, but it will stick together when you press it. Turn it out on a large sheet of foil and form it into a 6 x 9 inch rectangle a scant 1/2 inch thick. fold the foil over the dough and press firmly with your hands to compress it, then wrap it airtight. Slide a cookie sheet under the package and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.

Position the racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven, and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two cookie sheets with parchment or wax paper.

Use a long sharp knife to trim one short edge of the dough rectangle to even it. Then cut a slice a scant 3/8 inch wide and use the knife to transfer the delicate slice to the cookie sheet. Repeat with the rest of the dough, transferring each slice as it is cut and placing them at least 1 inch apart. If some break, just push them back together, or bake them broken - they will look and taste great anyway.

Bake, rotating the cookie sheets from top to bottom and front to back half way through the baking time, 12-14 minutes, or until the cookies are golden at the edges. Set the pans on the racks to cool completely. (The cookies can be stored, airtight, for several days).

Makes about 30, 6-inch sticks


***************************

And now, onto something fun- the Giveaway! The good folks at The Hershey Company are offering to send 3 baskets full of baking goodies, which include: 2 varieties of Hershey Kisses, Peanut Butter, flour, brownie mixes, cocoa powder, spatula, mixing bowl and oven mitt to 3 lucky readers of Fresh From The Oven!

Wrapped_Hersheys_Baking_Gift_Basket

photo provided by The Hershey Company


All you have to do, is leave me a comment to tell me what's your favorite cookies for the holiday season. The deadline is 14th Dec, which is this Sunday. I will conduct a drawing on Monday morning, and 3 lucky readers will each receive a goodies basket, courtesy of The Hershey Company.

The only catch? It's only open to US and Canada residents.


117 comments:

Lauren said...

My favorite cookie is a palmier. I've thoroughly enjoyed reading your blog! Keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

Hi there,
I am your frequent reader currently residing in B.C.,Canada.I love hershey and would like to try my luck for your lucky draw :)
My all time favorite holiday cookie is linzer cookie.I love to pair the lightly sweetened and nutty cookie with jam to have a perfect blend of sweet and savory.It is just plain indulgence for me. Haha.

Susan
shkwon28@yahoo.com

Passionate About Baking said...

Hi Mandy,
I want I want the hampers!!! How about you send me the hamper & I pay for the postage myself?!? Heehee...;)

Manggy said...

Ooh, lovely biscotti! I wonder if they'll survive a trip to the Philippines, though-- it'll take about 2 months, lol.
I know I can't join but I might as well tell you :) It used to be chocolate chip but now I have a new-found love of gingerbread!

Passionate About Baking said...

Can you believe I made these cookies last week & was lamenting the absense of nibs in my life! They are absolutely yummy...wish I was in the US/Canada. Would a local US address do if I get lucky? Your post is very droolworthy...

Kevin said...

I like the sound of roasted cocoa nibs and of using them in cookies like these. My favorite holiday "cookies" (other that chocolate chip) are butter tarts.

Carrie's Creations said...

What an awesome giveaway!

My favorite cookie at the holidays are peanut butter blossoms - they immediately remind me of the season!

Linda and Greg said...

My favorite holiday cookie is Martha Stewart's gingerbread snowflakes...I make them every year for a friend's cookie party and they are a hit. Thanks for a great giveaway!!
anthonlm01@aol.com

Judith said...

Those cookies look fantastic, and what a great giveaway! My holiday cookie of choice would probably be my mom's mystery cookies, which are something like Tollhouse cookie I believe but I have no idea exactly what's in them. Definitely oatmeal, toffee, and chocolate chips, and they're perfect warm and gooey. She used to make them randomly about once every four years (mom doesn't bake) and they were great.

Emily Lauren said...

Oooh! My favorite holiday cookies will have to be barely-sweet gingerbread cookies! This year we're making them in the shape of dinosaurs and monkeys... go figure.

Dana McCauley said...

I'm so far behind that I think I should start for next year at this point. How did Christmas creep up on me like this?

Aunt Kristina said...

My favorite Christmas cookie is sugar cookie cutouts--decorated with lots of frosting, red hots, chocolate chips, sprinkles, etc. There is something so relaxing about rolling out the dough, cutting shapes, decorating them, and then eating them after midnight mass. Sigh--even though it's just me and my hubby, I HAVE to make a bunch to eat with hot chocolate or tea.

Amanda said...

Those sound like good shipping cookies. Biscotti is just so bulky compared to these little sticks, so I will remember these ones when I am packing goodies away. I wonder if you could chocolate covered espresso beans instead of cocoa nibs...

Anna said...

I think my favorite cookie of the season is Mexican wedding cookies, I make them for my relatives in the est every Christmas and they like to call them snowballs, lol. However i will also never decline a chocolate chip cookie, my fav!

Diane Du said...

I agree with a previous commenter. The cutout sugar cookies are a holiday must have. Not only are they a delicious cookie but for many of us bring back memories of our childhood, making cookies with mom or grandma. Plus we can create wonderful new memories with our kids. They allow you to get as creative as you want and if you make a mistake you get to eat your failures!

yerbud@juno.com

Jessica said...

I stumbled across your blog and immediately subscribed :) So many great recipes on here - love how you say where you found them, but have modified them a bit :) Awesome!

My favorite Christmas cookie is a gooey butter cookie :P Gooey butter cake is from St. Louis [my hometown] and recently my mom and I have experimented with versions on the cookie... maybe someday I'll blog about them :D

sweetalmond said...

your baked goods always look delicious!!
I think my favorite holiday cookie is the gingerbread cookie. I like its spiciness, something totally new to me! We never mix spices in our cookies, so I was really impressed the first time I tried this type of cookie.

Roo said...

My favorite cookie, no matter what time of year, is always chocolate chip.

Cooking for Seven said...

Hmmm...chocolate dipped biscotti is awful good, but I also like molasses spice cookies.
Please contact me by commenting on my blog:
www.cookingforseven.wordpress.com

The Shulls said...

My favorite cookie is always shortbread!

Julie said...

Inside-out chocolate-covered cherry cookies. I tried them for the first time last weekend and they are my new favorites.

Love reading your blog :) I have used so many of your ideas/recipes - thank you so much!

Kristy said...

Yep, I'd have to go with chocolate chip. I never get sick of 'em. Thanks!

sswoss said...

I like chocolate xmas theme shaped cookies. ~~~ <3

MissGreenTea said...

Pizelles would have to be my favorite holiday cookie...light and crisp and I can easily eat a thousand of them.
Not sure if those are considered cookies...if not, the second runner up is raspberry shortbread thumbprints. Yum.
And I will have to give these Nib Sticks a try! :)

Maria said...

Your cocoa nib sticks look fantastic!

My favorite cookie is the classic chocolate chip. I also enjoy a good Parisian macaron, chocolate crinkle, or snickerdoodle...I really like cookies, sorry:)

SiHaN said...

Thank you so much for that cocoa nib stick recipe. Been thinking about it since I had returned the book to the library. haha. Will be trying this out soon.

MY favourite cookie of the season would definitely be the non-descipt and awefully cliched gingerbread man! Cant' do xmas without them! haha.

a cooker and crafter said...

My favorite would have to be Milk Chocolate Florentine Cookies...sooo YUM!

Keeling said...

My favorite Christmas cookies are Coconut Macaroons. My mom makes such good ones!

Liz said...

Good old chocolate chip are my favorite. I also love peanut butter cookies.

Christina said...

I'll have to be boring and say that I LOVE plain old shortbread cookies at Christmas time! They bring back warm memories of making them with my mom.
Thanks! :)

rori said...

I'm definitely going to try this recipe. Looks great!! My favorite cookie is rugelach...yum!

Catie said...

My favorite Christmas cookie is the peppermint pinwheel. As a kid I was always fascinated at the swirled slices - I still get excited when it's time to slice the rolled colored doughs!

Stephanie said...

My favorite holiday cookie has got to be either Lace Cookies, or those Rainbow cookies from NY bakeries... the ones with 1 red, yellow and green layer, sandwiches together with jam and topped with chocolate.. MMMM holiday baking, i LOVE IT. Your Almond Cocoa nib cookies look absolutely delicious by the way!

Melody said...

Those cookies look wonderful. Another recipe to add to my ever growing list of holiday cookies I have to try out.
I have to say, my favorite holiday cookies are chocolate cookies with Andes mints melted on top. A delicious cookie that we only ever seem to make at this time of year.

Laura said...

Sugar cookies! Always and forever!!

Rachel said...

Thanks for the chance to win such an amazing package of goodies! I've been reading (and drooling over) your blog for a few months now--Love it!

My favorite cookie hands down are buckeye balls. I only allow myself to eat these at Xmas so that makes them extra special!

Ingrid said...

Your cookies look goooood. If you need to double check whether they still ship well I would be happy to help! Really! :-)

My favorite cookie (& my family's) is a actually a bar form of Snickerdoodles! Love, love, love 'em! Thanks for hosting the giveway!
~ingrid

Dawn said...

favorite holiday cookie are raspberry linzer tarts

Rachel said...

My grandma's Springerle, which i tried making on my own for the first time this year. I think they turned out okay, but i won't know for another couple weeks as they age.

Jo said...

chocolate chip cookies ofcourse!! lovveee to win the hamper.

Anonymous said...

I just discovered your blog, it's fantastic!!

My favorite cookie is an old Hungarian recipe, called "kefels" I don't think the spelling is correct but they are delicious!

cindy said...

I think this cookie has many names, but we always called them ladyfingers....slender butter cookie with nuts rolled in powdered sugar.

Cheryl said...

Without a doubt, my favourite Christmas cookie is shortbread... rich and buttery, melt-in-your-mouth goodness! Mmmmm...

Karen said...

My favorite holiday cookie is rugelach. In fact, I'm making some today!

pxilated said...

My grandmother used to make biscotti, except they weren't really biscotti because they weren't twice baked. They were delicious though and she'd make an entire freezer full at a time. I miss those.

toutou said...

Lavender Butter Flake Cookie, my favorite! I especially like them when they are a little bit sticky and not so crispy:)

ring-a-ding-a-ling said...

I am drooling for cinnamon ginger cookies!! Merry Christmas to all~

Helen said...

My favorite cookie for the season is an oatmeal cookie with chocolate chips and nuts. It's hearty and perfect for the cold weather!

Indonesia-Eats said...

Mandy, long time didn't visit your blog.

My all time favourite cookie is biscotti, esp with chocolate and pistachio... yummm dunk into the hot dark cocoa beverage

Hanna said...

Yum, this is a recipe I definitely want to try, I think I am going to have to say my favorite is the good old sugar cookie, so yummy and so fun to decorate!

H11M01W88@hotmail.com

jen said...

Since finding the twice baked shortbread in Pure Desserts - Alice Medrich, I would have to say those are my new favourite.

Anonymous said...

NIBS, NIBS, I'm baking some nibs, TONIGHT!

eliza said...

i've made these before, and they truly were wonderful. what i love about to make for christmas cookies is rugelach.

mstaken05 said...

I would have to say the Snowball or pecan ball cookie is my favorite.

Thank you for giving us a chance to win.

VĂ©ronika said...

my favorite cookie in christmas time its gingerbread cookie!

Kim said...

cocoa nibs? i've never heard of them.. do you know where i can find some? my favorite holiday cookies are gingerbread men. you can decorate them in so many different ways!

Maryann said...

My favorite cookie is Ranger Cookies from Gourmet magazine. A combination of oatmeal, special k cereal, and chocolate chips. They are awesome.

mttsmm7 said...

I love snickerdoodles!!

Anonymous said...

I love snickerdoodles

rondadoug said...

Decorated sugar cookies...so much fun to make and eat!

Andy said...

My absolute favorite cookie has got to be World Peace Cookies or the famous Korova Cookie. I use white chocolate and it is beyond delicious!

:) Andrew
nguyen23@tcnj.edu

Toystory said...

My favorite are home-made nut cresents... loving called sardine cookies in our house - because of the flecks the nuts make. All of my family, extended and otherwise, love them.

Emily said...

Pfeffernuesse, no doubt. I'm hoping to try the real thing in Germany this year!

Catherine Pham said...

My favorite cookies are soft chocolate chip cookies! Yum!

Anonymous said...

My favorite Christmas cookies are spritz butter cookies(the tree shape) drizzled with white chocolate and decorated with colored sprinkles. Mmmmmm...it's almost time to bake!

Sarah

susan said...

ur nib sticks look fabulous!

Wendy said...

My favourite cookie during the holidays is a ginger cookie.

Anne said...

Chewy peanut butter cookies!

Amy said...

Linzer bars. Hands down. Pretty to look at and delicious to eat!

FAMILY FIRST said...

Ooh lovely cocoa nibs! But my all time favourite is sugared cut-out cookies! Yeah! Honestly, they are a bit too sweet for me .. but I cant resist the lovely shapes & colours that is splattered all around them that makes the christmas & holidays truly enjoyable! BTW, I live in Malaysia but if I win, I would love to dedicate this lovely package to my aunt in Canada!

Linda said...

A great recipe and beatiful photos to boot!

Fav cookie --- snickerdoodle

shopannies said...

my favorite cookie is peanut butter suprise cookies

Jackie said...

My favorite holiday cookie is one my mom use to make (which I now make)...Toffee Squares. You press toffee flavored dough into a sheet pan, cook and when finish top with hershey bars. When the chocolate is melted, sprinkle with nuts, cool and cut into squares. Great with a big glass of milk!

Anonymous said...

I love gingerbread cookies during the holidays, and decorated sugar cookies.
Jessica
jmdennis at iname.com

emilyrena said...

I love preacher cookies! They are my absolute favorite cookies ever. Chocolate, oatmeal, walnuts? Mmmm...

Gale said...

I'm trying to bake 'different' recipes this holiday. Your Almond Cocoa Nib Sticks fit right into my plan! I look forward to trying your recipe. Thanks for posting!

Linda said...

I love to make Sugar Cookies with my sons.

leslie.golden said...

The classic gingerbread man! Love your pictures

bakergirlcreations said...

Mmmm...cookies. I always love a good chocolate chip cookie, like the one from the New York Times, but ginger snaps that are all soft and chewy are the best! Love the idea of the nib sticks, looking forward to try the recipe :)

Kat Bryan said...

I'd have to say my favorite Christmas cookie is sugar cookie cutouts. Gradma always had us kids help her make and decorate them and I still enjoy it. It's also fun to add to the cookie cutter collection.

Kari said...

LOVE oatmeal raisin. :)

Terry said...

I love chocolate crinkles! Love them!!

jacquie said...

pecan crescents - though i usually make them as balls. and hershy's peanut blossoms are always delicious.

Shannon and Scott said...

I love Nan's Bars this time of year. Yum!

Susan from Food Blogga said...

Coffee and cookies. It doesn't get much better. What a *sweet* give-away! My favorite holiday cookie is chocolate-dipped coconut macaroons. They're positively addictive.

Dwiana P said...

Count me in please, I want those chocolate:)

as far as baking christmas cookies, I am behind too:(

Maxene said...

Hi Mandy,
We are so missing you back in STL. Of course we also miss OCT. I've enjoyed visiting your blog every now and then to somehow stay connected.
My favorite holiday cookie is a home-made peanut butter cookie that we used to get as a gift from a family friend back home. It was one of the treats that signified that the holiday season had arrived.
Hope we can catch up again soon :)

Little Corner of Mine said...

My favorite holiday cookies would be gingerbread cookie.

Pei-Lin said...

Hello Mandy,

My favorite would be pineapple tarts even though they aren't considered traditional Christmas cookies. Actually, I have them anytime of the year whenever I crave for them and bake these addictive little treats. (O, a must-have during Chinese New Year!)

Anyhow, I'm a Malaysian-Chinese student (now in the FREEZING upper Minnesota)--who's extremely addicted to kitchen! I love baking and cooking. They're so therapeutic! Sadly, I don't keep a blog because I just don't have time to do so! (Wish I could!) Still, you know as a student, it's now the time when I'm burning midnight oil for finals before Christmas break. But, I'll write to you separately soon. Hope we can contact each other eventually. (Do you use MSN?)

Regards,
Pei-Lin

Kitchen Vixen said...

My favorite cookie is a peanut butter cookie- I also love chocolate peanut balls. My boyfriend's family always makes them at Christmas, and they're always the first thing gone!

Yen said...

My favorite is pumpkin spiced cookie.

Happy Holiday.

yentuyen@hotmail.com

Amy said...

I love homemade biscotti and one of my favorite recipes in my box is for a triple chocolate biscotti that is just yummy.

Anonymous said...

My favorite holiday cookies are chocolate chip cookies.
I enjoy reading your blog.
Happy holidays.
hajrabano83@yahoo.com

Katie said...

Hands down its Spritz cookies.

fan said...

My favorite holiday cookie is chocolate chip cookie

Jennywenny said...

I'm a big fan of alice medrich's nibby wholewheat shortbread. Mmmm

Anonymous said...

My favorite is dark chocolate chip. But I love white choclate chip cranberry. And sugar cookies with the yummy frosting. =)

Very cool site -- my sister-in-law intro'd me to this.

MorenaTejana said...

My favorite cookie is a soft, warm chocolate chip cookie.

Laura said...

My favorite has to be the gingerbread cookies.

cuileann said...

My favorites are a cinnamony-nutmeg recipe that my family calls Betsy cookies. They're delicious, iced or not, and cutting them out is one of my favorite memories of childhood Christmases. Christmasses?

ravenscar said...

My favorite christmas cookies would have to be snickerdoodles! i am normally a chocolate fanatic but there's something about cinnamon and sugar that strikes me as very christmassy and festive!

Btw, I am an extremely silent reader up until now... but I just wanted to let you know how your recipes have saved me so many times! i made your tiramisu cake for my boyfriend's birthday and it was such a major hit that all his friends now think that i am a great baker! that was actually my first time baking a cake..... then i made your chocolate banana cake AND your normandy apple tart for thanksgiving and it was a massive hit! thanks for all your clear recipe instructions! i'm definitely going to try these almond cocoa nib sticks for christmas giveaways! :)

Honeybee Quilter said...

My husband is from Czech and we love the traditional Vanilla Crescents (Vanilkove Rohlicky) and Beehive cookies at Christmas!

MaryAnne said...

oh goodness, where to begin?! right at this very moment, I would LOVE some sugar cookies made with mini choco chips in them...YUMMY

mariannakeough at hotmail.com

Topher said...

My favorite is probably snickerdoodles. Thanks for the chance!

Wendy Kellner said...

My favorite cookies are the cut-out cookies that get decorated. Only, the best ones are the ones decorated by the kids. Nothing beats the culinary imagination of decorating by the little ones! Wendy

Shisheng said...

Wow a giveaway! :)

I am chocolate lover, so I am going to say double chocolate cookies... But preferably dark chocolate... not too sweet. :)

Really yummy-looking biscotti! I wanna try it soon!

David said...

My favorite cookie is the good old Oatmeal Raisin. However, during the holidays one year my wife made some Snickers based cookie that were fantastic. Basically it is a cookie made with a cake mix and then one puts a bit of a Snickers into the middle. The Snickers coats the cookie and it is oh so good (I sound like Mr. Food).

Anonymous said...

My holiday favourite is white chocolate & date cookie :)


- Ninni

Anonymous said...

Your biscotti look amazing! I want to try them.

My favorite cookie is white chocolate macadamia nut... the bits of white speckled through a beige background of butttery cookie... nothing beats it!

jbakerrr@gmail.com

HungryKat said...

Hi there
My favorite cookie is linzer cookie with chocolate instead of jam.

Clumbsy Cookie said...

I haven't started my holyday baking either, just arrived from vacation yesterday. I have to start soon. Your sticks are lovely!

ihchicky said...

I am a big fan of shortbread! Thanks for the chance.

Emily said...

I'd have to say my favorite cookie is my mommy's yummy sugar cookies --- she rolls them out really thinly, so they're crispy and sweet, with just a hint of lemon. >w< I really want some now~~~

Lynette said...

I love really good sugar cookies that melt in your mouth with a buttercream frosting.

lmichels@gmail.com

Cookie baker Lynn said...

The cocoa nib cookies look perfect for sending to friends for Christmas!

Helene said...

My favorite during the Holidays was: Chewy Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies. This is a nice giveaway.

dining room table said...

Those are really yummy sticks. I just made some and my kids loved it.

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