Choose Your Own Adventure: Almond Butter Cookies

Almond butter cookie 2

Hey fellow kids of the 90s – remember those Choose Your Own Adventure books? You’d get a few chapters in, start caring about the story, and then WHAM you need to make a decision that would completely color the remainder of your book experience, or end the book quickly by killing you. I actually kind of hated those books because, well, I hate decisions. What’s wrong with normal books where you get passively lost in a story instead of having to choose the story yourself?

These wishy-washy books came to the front of my mind recently when a weekend-long baking mission left me with choices…too many choices. I knew I wanted to make almond butter cookies, because almond butter is one of those things that I could eat any time of day, in any situation: scooped right out of the jar, melted in oatmeal, slathered on an apple, grilled in a sandwich with nutella, mixed into in a smoothie, etc…the point is that I really don’t care, as long as I get to eat it. Due to my versatile almond butter love, I couldn’t decide what kind of cookie to make. I imagined soft oatmeal cookies made with brown butter, but from there I could not commit to one direction.

I ended up going through three different cookie “Adventures,” if you will (and I think you will), which means that this post is a three-fer…yes, three recipes in one post, so you get to choose your own adventure! …and I get to make three different cookie variations instead of picking just one. Everyone wins!

Adventure #1: Almond Butter Cookies with Brown Butter

  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1/2 cup creamy salted almond butter
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 egg

Preheat oven to 350-degrees.

The bread and butter of this recipe is the brown butter. I mean it’s insane. Melt the butter over medium-high heat, whisking all the while. Whisk with all your might until you begin to see brown specks appear in the bottom, and then turn off the heat. Continue to whisk for a few seconds after removing it from the heat. It will look like oatmeal stout but smell like caramel-deliciousness. Set it in the fridge for 15 minutes or so.

brown butter

Whisk together the flour, soda, powder, salt, and oats in a bowl. Set aside.

When your brown butter is cooled off (i.e. not scalding to the touch), mix in the sugar and almond butter, then beat in the egg and vanilla. Slowly add the dry ingredients. The dough will seem somewhat dry, but fear not, your cookies will not be.

Roll the dough into balls, then press down lightly with a fork (think of peanut butter cookie fork marks…that’s what you want).

Almond butter cookie ball flattened

Bake for 10-11 minutes, until slightly golden.

Almond butter cookie

It’s a simple yet delicious adventure. Soft, chewy, with just enough almond butter flavor, plus that caramelized, brown butter aroma that just makes me melt. They were nearly perfect, but I knew these guys had even more potential, so I decided to move on to Adventure #2.

Adventure #2: Almond Butter Honey Cream Pies

  • Almond butter cookies with brown butter from Adventure #1
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2-3 cups powdered sugar (choose your thickness)

Cream the butter until fluffy. Add the vanilla, then add one cup of the powdered sugar. Mix in the honey and cinnamon, and gradually add the remaining powdered sugar.

Almond butter honey buttercream

This adventure is sure to leave you in a sugar coma, but sometimes that’s just worth it, isn’t it?

Honey Buttercream Almond Butter Cream Pies

Both the boy and my dad were big fans of Adventure #2, and why wouldn’t they be? Chewy cookies oozing with honey cinnamon buttercream? Sign me up, I’d usually say, but these were so sweet that I wanted to transform them into something a bit more dimensional. I knew what I had to do, so onward I went to Adventure #3.

Adventure #3: Salted Chocolate Almond Butter Cookies

  • Almond butter cookies with brown butter from Adventure #1
  • 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • Coarse sea salt

Set a glass bowl over a pot of boiling water. Add the chocolate chips and butter, and stir until melted. Top each cookie with a small spoonful of chocolate, and sprinkle the top with a touch of course sea salt.

Salted Chocolate Almond Butter Cookies

I may be a bit partial to Adventure #3, but look at that cookie: almond butter mixing with dark chocolate (aka heaven), topped with sea salt to cut the sweet overload while heightening the other flavors. It may be a riskier adventure, since some people are against salt in baked goods (for SHAME), but I’d choose this adventure any day.

Salted Chocolate Almond Butter Cookies 2

So, friends, it’s decision time. Remember that no matter what choice you make, you’ll end up with soft, brown butter and almond butter cookies, and that’s a WIN in itself. Maybe you like to play it safe, so you’re leaning towards the straightforward, soft cookies in Adventure #1. Perhaps you’re a frosting fiend and need the buttercream in #2, or maybe you’re like me and feel that almond butter just begs for love from chocolate and sea salt, and you’d hate to deprive it of that joy.

Salted Chocolate Almond Butter Cookies 2

Screw decisions, you should probably just be like me and try out all three adventures. After all, isn’t that what we all did with the Choose Your Own Adventure books? You’d choose one, and if you didn’t like it, you’d go on back and try again until you were happy. You did do that, right?

…Anyone?

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2 thoughts on “Choose Your Own Adventure: Almond Butter Cookies

  1. Eileen

    “Choose the adventure you have the ingredients to make”–awesome! Those almond butter adventure #1 cookies look awfully good…

    Reply

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