Here's what I'd like to do: box up these cookies in an airtight, space-age time capsule that's completely impenetrable to mold spores and even the most infinitesimal amounts of moisture, and bury them in the backyard. Then, when my kids are in their late thirties, they'll torture their own future children by bringing them to the house.
Look! This is where we grew up!
Here's the front yard where we'd run through the sprinklers! And there's the spot where the lemon tree grew!
Then they'd break into the house, or maybe somehow jimmy the door open with a credit card or whatever kind of device one uses to break into houses. A crowbar? So they break into the house and sneak up the stairs.
Look! This was our room! You can still see the glow-in-the-dark stars stuck on the ceiling!
Yeah! And here was our playroom! See on the wall? There's where Mom and Dad measured us to see how tall we grew!
And then they'd slip back down the stairs and out the back door. And they'd go to that spot, somehow remembering, without really knowing why, but they'd be drawn to that spot and several shovels would magically appear. (Shut up.)
So then my boys and their various and sundry children (lots of children! but not too many children...) would start digging, and they'd dig and dig and dig, and sweat would bead up on their foreheads and they'd get good and covered with dirt and grime, and the sun would shine and the people who owned the house wouldn't be home yet (this part is key) so they'd keep on digging.
And then finally, the littlest kid, the youngest of the pack, would scream, I FOUND SOMETHING!
And they'd all dig, dig, dig, and up would come the space-age time capsule, and they'd brush off the dirt like wee little archeologists, and pry open the seal or the lock or whatever, and they'd open the box.
They'd stare at the cookies. And their eyes would stretch wide, and maybe Andrew's or Alex's, or both, would well up with happy, nostalgic tears. They'd pass around the cookies, and there would be one for everyone, and they'd all bite into them at the same time.
She was a good mom, my kids would tell their children.
She really loved us.
Recipe for Thin and Crispy Almond Chocolate Chip Cookies
These cookies are thin, crispy and caramelly, and the recipe makes a whole lot (6 dozen) so feel free to halve it or keep several dozen frozen scoops of dough in the freezer and bake up only what you need. I used Marcona almonds because I had a huge tin, but feel free to use regular almonds (which are much cheaper). If using regular ones, please add 3/4 teaspoon salt to the batter.
Makes 72 cookies
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup almond meal
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1-1/4 cups brown sugar (light or dark)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons almond extract
1-1/2 cups dark chocolate chips (semisweet are fine, too)
1 cup chopped Marcona almonds, or regular almonds (see headnote for advice on salt)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line several cookie sheets with parchment or Silpats.
Sift the two flours, almond meal, and baking soda into a large bowl. Press as much of the almond meal through the mesh as you can, then dump any stubborn bits that remain right on top of the sifted ingredients. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Slowly add the white sugar and beat another minute; scrape the sides of the bowl. Then slowly add the brown sugar and beat some more.
With the mixer on low speed, add the eggs, one at a time, raising the speed after each addition to fully incorporate them. Beat in the two extracts. Scrape the sides.
Scoop in the sifted dry ingredients in three additions, beating after each addition and scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary. Finally, stir in the chocolate chips and chopped almonds.
Use a 1-1/2" scoop to portion the dough rounds onto the prepared cookie sheets, leaving plenty of space between each cookie as these tend to spread significantly. Bake for about 15 minutes (check after 12 minutes to prevent burning), or until the cookies are golden brown, thin, and dark around the edges. Make sure you get good color on these, even if you have to leave them in an extra two or three minutes. Cool completely on the baking sheet before transferring them to a wire rack or serving platter. Repeat with remaining batter.