Month: August 2017

Chocolate Almond Cookies

Chocolate Almond Cookies

These cookies are not really super Disney oriented, I admit it. But they are delicious, and that’s probably even more important! I bought a container of Cocoa Almond Butter from Trader Joe’s, hoping I could use it in some recipes, including a recipe trying to recreate the AMAZING hazelnut-chocolate filled beignets I had at the Boulangerie Patisserie in France at Epcot. But when I opened the container and tried it, I realized it wasn’t going to work. Its delicious – don’t get me wrong – but its all wrong for the beignet.

Instead, I decided to make cookies. I modified an old peanut butter blossom recipe from my grandmother, and it worked out beautifully. Really, you could substitute any nut butter here and get an awesome cookie!

I also have to admit that I have no pictures of the process of baking them. I wanted cookies. It was the night before I had to go back to work at the high school. I was distracted by the thought of cookies.

Sorry.

But this is what they look like. They look yummy, right?

Chocolate Almond Cookie

The actual process is easy. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. I cream the butter until it’s fluffy, about a minute or so, and then I add in the sugars. Beat it until everything is fluffy and combined. Add your egg and mix that in until it’s incorporated. Then add the cocoa almond butter. Beat it in until it’s mixed through.

This recipe is really simple. You could just do all the wet ingredients at once if you were in a hurry, but I like making sure it’s all well mixed in stages. Add in the milk and flavorings, and make sure to start the mixer on low so you don’t end up slopping liquid all over your kitchen.

Add in all the dry ingredients and start your mixer on low. Don’t accidentally bump the speed up like I did. I’m going to be cleaning flour off the Keurig for the next five months, I swear.

Once it’s all well mixed, scoop out a tablespoon at a time and roll into a ball. If it’s soft, you may need to refrigerate it for an hour or so. (Or you can cheat and use a small cookie scoop and scoop them straight into the sugar. I then rolled them around and got them on the pan. As long as they hold together in a ball-ish shape, they’ll work.)

You’re going to roll the ball in white sugar, and then place about 2 inches apart on a cookie sheet.

Bake for 10-12 minutes, and then remove from the oven and let cool on the cookie sheet.

These are excellent with coffee or milk!

quick rating

Print
Chocolate Almond Cookies
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
12 mins
Total Time
27 mins
 
Course: Dessert
Servings: 2 dozen
Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar vanilla sugar is excellent
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
  • 3/4 cup cocoa almond butter
  • 1/8 cup milk
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 2 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup sugar for rolling
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

  2. Cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add the egg, then cream until well incorporated.

  3. Add the cocoa almond butter and mix until incorporated. Add the milk, and mix in on a low speed.

  4. Add in the remaining ingredients, beating until well mixed.

  5. Scoop into tablespoons and roll into balls, then roll in granulated sugar and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet.

  6. Bake for 10-12 minutes and let cool on the pan.

Chocolate Almond Cookie

Disney World Dining Review: Sanaa

Disney World Dining Review: Sanaa

We’ve just returned from our trip to Disney World! We were there for 5 nights, and we had a great time. I’m jumping ahead a bit, because I have to tell you about the best meal we had while we were there. All of the meals were excellent, but this one – oh, man was it good!

On our trip to Disney World, we designated a “date night” since we took both sets of parents with us. For our date meal, my husband and I decided to try Sanaa at Disney’s Kidani Village.

Oh. My. Goodness. This was one of the best meals EVER.

First, the restaurant is really lovely. The decor is beautful, and I loved all the lanterns and light fixtures. The windows (though we weren’t seated in front of one) look out onto the savannah in front of the villas. There were giraffes, wildebeasts, cranes, and more out! Our server was fantastic, and took time to make sure she answered any questions we had, and explained what we could get on the Disney Dining Plan. She was awesome!

The hostesses were even lovely enough to pose with Supermouse (he’s my little stuffed mouse who is as old as I am and has always traveled with me) for me on our way out.

The staff were all very friendly and kind, and our server was excellent.

But the food…. oh, the food!

Sanaa Bread ServiceEverything you’ve heard about the bread service is true. It was WONDERFUL. It comes with 3 fresh made naan breads, as well as two types of roti, which had a savory “spread”/herbs inside.l All three were delicious on their own, but they are serviced with 9 accompaniments, ranging from spicy to a yogurt raita. I was a fan of the tomato chutney, garlic pickle, and hummus. My husband pretty much wiped the tamarind sauce bowl clean, and he took care of tasting the spicy ones.

I also ordered a mango lassi smoothie, which was excellent. Since we were also celebrating his birthday, my husband ordered a white sangria – which came complete with a celebratory blinking ice cube.

Sanaa white sangria Sanaa Mango LassiWe ate our way through the bread service, and then our meals came out. He ordered the Braaivleis – a South African sampler plate. It came with pork, lamb, and a sausage, with mashed potatoes and a season salad. He wasn’t fond of the salad, but there wasn’t a scrap of meat left on his plate! I tasted a bite of each of his as well, and they were quite delicious. I’m not a huge fan of lamb, but it was cooked perfectly, and the sauce on the meat was tasty and helped cut through the fattiness I always associate with lamb.

Braaivleis - South African Braai Sample Plate

I had the Butter Chicken with Rice and Lentil Dhal. It was also amazing. The butter chicken is served in a thick, creamy sauce that has a great blend of spices and reminded me a bit of curry in terms of complexity and texture, but it was a different flavor. The rice was the perfect accompaniment, and the lentil dhal, with a mixture of tomatoes, onions, split peas, lentils, and spices, was also extremely tasty. I wasn’t sure how they would go together, because you choose your side with this particular menu item, but the flavors did not overpower or conflict with each other.

Sanaa Butter Chicken

After we had both cleaned our plates, there was dessert. At this point, I had already eaten too much. I figured I’d order dessert (we were on the Disney Dining Plan, so it came as part of the meal) and just taste it. You know, for research purposes.

I was so foolish to think that dessert would be any less delicious than dinner.

My husband ordered the Kenyon Coffee Petit Entremet. Basically its a coffee and chocolate mouse dessert. Our server made it even better by having the Happy Birthday added on! It was smooth and rich an luscious. I’m not a fan of chocolate mousse, but I struggled through a bite. My husband is not a big dessert eater on a good day, so he only ate about half. Then he went back and finished off the bread service, because he was so in love with that!

I had the Kheer – a coconut rice pudding that was supposed to come with a cashew peach streusel. However, I just cant’ stand peaches, and our waitress just brought it out with a mango sauce. Together, it was AWESOME. The texture was thick, creamy, and unlike any rice pudding I’ve ever had. I thought I’d have just a few bites. Five minutes later, it was all gone. And if I could have fit more in my belly, I might have ordered a second one!

Sanaa Kheer

Overall, I can’t say enough good things about Sanaa. The service was fantastic, and the food was awesome. The only reason I can see someone deciding they do not want to eat here would be if you have a very picky eater who is unwilling to try some new things (and even then, I think they could probably find something).

I was actually really surprised that during the time we were there, there were several empty tables. It is the only Disney restaurant I can think of where there were empty tables during our whole meal. Now, we chose to have a 5:10 pm reservation, so I know we were a little early, but it was unusual. It was a quiet restaurant, and I think it would be good for families or couples.

If you ever get the chance to go here, TAKE IT! I will be coming back on our next trip, and dragging everyone who comes with us along!

Have you eaten here? What did you think?

 

 

“VeraVise
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