By Maureen Naff,
ICC’s Professional Pastry Arts student,
Third Place Winner of the ICC 2015 Cookie Games
Yield: 48 cookies
- 200g almond flour
- 200g well-aged Gouda, finely grated
- 50g unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 40g confectioners’ sugar
- 1/2 tsp. ground cloves, to taste
- 1/4 tsp. cumin, to taste
- Sanding sugar infused with whole cloves
- Paddle butter and sugar till fluffy. Add cheese and spices till well mixed.
- Add the almond flour till just mixed, then turn out on surface and work by hand into a flattened round.*
- Wrap and chill dough for at least 30 minutes.
- Roll dough on lightly floured surface (approx. 1/4″ thick) and cut to desired shapes, small rounds work well.
- Prior to baking, sprinkle with clove-infused sanding sugar. As the saltiness of the cheese will vary, bake a test cookie. If you find it needs salt, mix some Kosher salt into the sanding sugar. (A thin craquelin in place of the sanding sugar also works well, adding the perfect sweetness.)
- Bake at 350F for 8-10 minutes. Do not over bake. Remove immediately from pan and cool on rack.
*Alternative: Form dough into tight log no larger than 1 1/2″ in diameter and chill. Brush chilled log very lightly with egg wash, roll on flavored sanding sugar, slice and bake.
Try mixing in finely-chopped dry fruit like apricots, figs or cranberries, or dipping an edge of the baked cookie into tempered dark chocolate. Serve as part of a cheese plate or simply nibble with a cold, crisp cider.