Biscoff cookies offered by the airlines are irresistible: crunchy, sweet, spicy. But the ingredients are terrible: sugar, flour, oil. I set out to make a better cookie with better qualities of flavor and crunch. And due to the almonds, these cookies actually contain fair amount of vitamin B2; sesame seeds contain B6 and minerals. These are a variant of Flo Braker’s Pain d’Amandes, i.e. “crunchiest almond cookies” I posted a year ago, but better. (David Leibowitz has a version, too, with twice the sugar.) Hence, B2. These contain less sugar and more flavor, more protein (from the nuts and sesame seeds).
1/2 cup water
1 stick butter (salted or not, you’ll adjust for flavor)
150 grams Turbinado sugar (do not substitute any other kind)
250 grams all purpose flour whisked together with:
1 Tbs. cinnamon, 1 tsp. cardamon, 1/2 tsp. baking soda
8 ounces sliced raw almonds
100 grams hulled white sesame seeds
Boil the water with the butter. Take off heat and stir in turbinado sugar. Add 1/2 tsp sea salt if you have used unsalted butter. Stir in flour (that has been mixed with spices and baking soda). Transfer to a large bowl and stir in sliced almonds and sesame seeds.
Pack mixture into a loaf pan that you have lined with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 24 hours (or many days, if you like). It will be like fudge.
When you are ready to bake, preheat oven to 325. Remove dough from plastic and tin and slice thinly (1/8 inch–use a large, sharp knife) and place on cookie sheets. This recipe requires all three of my large cookie sheets on three oven racks. Bake for 10-12 minutes, then remove from oven and let cool until you can turn the cookies (I use a small angled spatula or my fingers). You will see the unmelted sugar crystals sparkle–these help make the cookies so crisp. Put the turned cookies back into the oven and bake another 10-12 minutes. They will become even more crisp as they cool, but are somewhat fragile until then. Mine stay tasty for weeks when kept airtight.
If you like to cook, I predict this method for making crisp cookies and crackers will inspire you. I’ve made many variations of crackers and cookies with different kinds of flour. Used fig jam and reduced the water and sugar. Added flax seeds. I’ve cut out the “sweet”spices and used more salt and savory spices. I’ve made a gluten-free version of the cookies with chestnut flour and even less sugar (100 grams for 50 cookies) because the flour is naturally sweet. Let me know what you discover?!