Charlotte Cooks – Almond Milk Cookies

Charlotte Cooks – Almond Milk Cookies


>>This is a production
of WTVI, PBS Charlotte. [ Cooking Noises ] [ Music ]>>Hi. Welcome to this
edition of Charlotte Cooks. I’m Chef Pamela Roberts and I’m
so glad you joined me today. We are going to be
making some almond milk and from the almond
milk we are going to be doing some almond milk
cookies which is really kind of nice because when you make
almond milk you always have some kind of a debris
left and instead of tossing it way we are
actually going to use it. So in order to make almond
milk one of the first things that we’re going to need
is some raw almonds. Now we want the almonds
with the skins and these are a particular kind of almond called
a Marcona almond. The Marcona almond
is a nice flat almond and they come from Spain. They’re beautifully white
inside but I’m going to show you how we’re going
to soak them all right? It’s important when
you’re making almond milk to soak your almonds
first and so for this recipe we just
use one cup of almonds and this is a little
more than one cup. Like you just put
them in a bowl. This is such a simple recipe. And then you take them and
you cover them up with water. [ Pouring Water ] And you cover it up and just
let it sit overnight, okay? And so when they sit
overnight they’re going to end up looking like this. There’s going to be a little
bit of brown water in them and they’re going to be a
little bit more plump okay than they were when they started
and at this point we’re going to take and we’re going
to drain this water. Now we’re going to take this
water and either throw it away. I think it’s a good water to
water plants with so I save it and throw it on my plants,
but there’s nothing wrong with the water we just don’t
want it in our almond milk. And so we’re going to
drain those almonds out and what’s going to be left is
these lovely almonds like this. Now, why do we soak the almonds? Couple of reasons. We soak the almonds to
get them soft and tender so when we’re making the almond
milk we can chop them up nice and fine and extract the milk
from the almonds themselves. Another reason we soak them is
it activates the growth enzymes within the almonds. Remember I said raw almonds
and so if these really– , if I were to leave them
in here they would sprout and we could eventually grow
a little almond tree from it but all we’re looking for here
is an increase of nutrients and so by adding the water and letting them soak it
actually activates those growth enzymes which makes them a
little bit more nutrient dense. Now, here’s a fun little thing. If you didn’t want to make
almond milk with these things and you wanted to slip them out
of their skins and roast them in the oven here’s
all you have to do. Take them and squeeze
it, you see, they just squeeze right out. They squeeze right out. Now I’m saving these
skins because I want that in my almond milk. Sometimes the almonds will
separate and that’s okay but I want to get a
little close-up right here. This little close-up. Look right here. This little bit right
here is the sprout and that’s what’s really,
really, really kind of fun about sprouting almonds. I love almonds. Almonds are my favorite,
favorite, favorite nut in the world so– , and this
actually just kind of fun to do, sit here and just
squirt them all out, and then you just take these and
you jut rub them in a little bit of salt and put them in an
oven and roast them in the oven and you have beautiful
roasted almonds. What a great way of
doing it yourself, right? So in order to make the almond
milk we’re going to come over here to my blender. In my blender I have
four cups of water and I have one cup
of the almonds. They do look like a little
more than one cup and that’s because they’ve all
plumped up and everything and I’ve just separated a bunch
of the skins and everything so what I’m going to do is I’m
going to take these almonds and as I said I’ve got four
cups of water in my blender. Just going to put skins and
all all the way in here. Now if you buy almond milk in the store there’s a really
good chance that it’s going to be sweetened or
unsweetened or even chocolate. It’s really easy
to do all three. And I’m going to make a
lightly sweetened flavor today because it’s just really
nice to have a little bit of a flavor inside
of the almond milk. So let me put this bowl away. What we’re going to
do now is we’re going to take Medjool dates. Medjool dates are the
nice big meaty ones. They’re wonderful. You can get them in
the grocery store. But you have to remember you
don’t just take this date and plop it in there. This is going to add our
sweetness which is lovely because it doesn’t have
all that extra sugar. You’ve got to get the pit
out of the middle, okay? There’s a little bit about
the size of an olive pit in the middle so just break it,
let me show you how we do that. Drop it in there. You just take it and you
smoosh it and you’ll feel that pit right there
in the center. So take it out and
put that on the side. Now depending on how sweet
you want it, for four cups if you want it just mildly
sweet two dates is all you need. If you want it really sweet
only four dates, okay? I wouldn’t go any
more than four dates. You’re going to add a
tiny bit of vanilla. This is going to give you that
vanilla-flavored almond milk. You see that? That wasn’t very much like
maybe a quarter of a teaspoon. And then we’re going to
put the lid on the blender. Now let me give you a warning. If you have one of these
high-powered blenders like this one you don’t want
to crank it up all the way. If you’ve got a blender that’s
not such a heavy-duty puppy as this one then you just want
to turn it on and let it go. This is going to
process for about three to five minutes, all right? And what’s going to happen is
it’s going to grind everything up and what you’re looking for in the liquid is a nice
fine consistency, all right? So here’s some noise. [ Blender Noise ] Okay, so it’s been about
three to five minutes now. Here’s our almond milk. He’s all done. So the next thing we’re going to
do is we want to come over here and you want a really fine
wire mesh strainer for this. The larger your mesh in the strainer the more
this debris is going to fall through the strainer. The finer your screen the more
thin consistency your almond milk is going to be. Now if we compare this to whole
milk and cream and that kind of thing, if you
were to use this as a whole milk you want a
little bit more debris in there. If you like it more
like just a– , and I just love a big
old glass of almond milk and I don’t want it to be really
thick so I like to take it and strain out as much of
this debris as possible. Okay, so, you put
it in a strainer and you see look it
the milk’s coming out. It’s beautiful. And you press up against
the side of the screen with a spatula and press
all that milk out, okay? Now you can also see that
sometimes you’re going to get a little bit of
the almond bit coming through the outside of
the screen and that’s okay because that’s going to
give a little bit of body to your almond milk, okay? So once you get this all pressed
through and it’s all nice and dry like this, okay? We’re going to take this and
set it aside right like that because we’re going
to use that debris. We’re going to take our milk. We’re going to put it in a
nice pitcher and we’re going to get it in the refrigerator
and get it nice and cold. Now something you
have to remember about almond milk is it will
separate on you as it sits. Look at that milk. Doesn’t it look awesome? Wait til you taste it,
wait til you taste it. Now while are people
drinking almond milk instead of drinking cow’s milk? Well there’s a lot of dietary
theory out there right now that is claiming to give
up dairy, to give up gluten and all these other things. Well there’s no gluten in this
and there is no dairy in this because it’s nuts,
water, dates, and vanilla. Okay so now that we have
our almond milk made and our almond milk
is in the refrigerator and we have our debris
all separated here. I’m just going to go ahead and
dump it out of here and put it into a bowl so we can go ahead
and start making our cookies. What we’re going to use for
our cookies, very, very, very typical cookie stuff. Eggs, butter, sugar, almonds, we’re going to add some dried
cranberries and some vanilla to this and all of
our almond debris too. So we’re going to get started by
adding our butter and our sugars to the bowl and I think we’ll
use a spatula to get it out. Here we go. And we’re using 3/4 of a cup
of brown sugar and 3/4 a cup of white sugar and we’re just
going to put this in the mixer and bring this together. As soon as it comes
together what we’re going to do is we’re going to add
our eggs, two eggs, okay? And eggs we’re using large eggs. Hold on for a moment. We’re going to get some noise. [ Mixer ] All right, as this all
comes together once you see that your sugar and your butter
have combined we’re going to add our eggs, all right? And you can try to let them
slip in one at a time if you can and if they all go in
at once that’s okay too, but there we go and there we go. I’m going to add our vanilla. We’re using about a
teaspoon of vanilla. It’s all in the recipe. So the recipe you can find on
our website and turn this down, turn it off, scrape
your bowl down. Now I don’t know how many
of you are bakers out there and I’m definitely not
what you’d call a baker but I do love to make cookies. One of the things
you have to remember to do while you’re doing this
is to scrape your bowl down and the reason you do that is so that everything gets
incorporated and nothing is left on the bottom or
around the sides. I’m going to take my flour and to my flour I’m adding
a little bit of salt, I’m adding a little
bit of baking soda. Now sometimes when you
make cookies and muffins and different kinds of breads
and things when you add fruit and nuts to them they have a
tendency to sink to the bottom and the reason they
sink to the bottom is because there’s really nothing
stopping them from sinking and so I like to add my
cranberries and my nuts and then if I’m using chocolate
chips or anything like that I add them
to my flour too. Why? Because it gives them a
coating and that keeps them from sinking to the bottom. Somehow or another the
flour that’s coating the nut or the fruit or whatever it
is you have in your flour sort of gives it a little
glue so wherever it is in the cookie it will say there
instead of dropping down, okay? So before we add our
flour we’re going to add our almond debris, okay? So we’re just taking our
one cup of almond debris and we’re dropping this in. And I call it debris
because it is the leftover, but you know shoot, like I said,
it’s just dates and vanilla and almonds so you know
why wouldn’t you put that in a cookie? It’s really a delicious thing. So, we’re going to mix that in and then we’re going
to add our flour. [ Mixer ] So now I’m going to add
my flour and I’m going to turn my machine off and I’m
going to put a little bit in and dry not to get it
all over the place. There you go. Get it in there. I’m going to put about half of
it in, maybe a third of it in and I’ll start stirring it in. [ Mixer ] And as it gets incorporated
I’m going add the rest of it. Next I’m going to put
these onto a cookie sheet. You want to make sure that your
dough is well mixed so always at the very end you want to get
down in the bottom of your pot and make sure that
it’s all incorporated. Now an ice cream scoop. This is some of the
best pieces of equipment that you could have
in your kitchen. You can use it for ice cream. You could use it for
all kinds of things. I love these things and I have
them in lots of different sizes but for cookies you
can’t beat it. Why? Because you’re going to get a consistent sized
cookie every single time. So you’re going to
take your dough and when you do this I
press it up against the side so I get a nice even
consistent sized cookie, okay? And if you’re not
sure how they spread, now I’ve done this a few times so I kinda sorta
know how they spread. If you weren’t sure how
they spread I would go ahead and put them in the
oven and bake one off so you could see how
far apart you have to place them on the sheet. I usually like to bake about
a dozen cookies on a sheet like this at a time so we’ll do
six, six and there we go, okay? I’ve had some people talk
to me before about almonds when they’re talking about
you know well almonds we hear that they have cyanide in them. Well that is true to a
point but not sweet almonds and these are sweet almonds. We have bitter almonds. Bitter almonds are known to
have a cyanide compound in them and you don’t want to eat
that you don’t want to have that so don’t let
anybody tell you that all almonds have cyanide
in them because that’s not true. The sweet almonds are
perfectly safe to eat and there is no cyanide
whatsoever in that almond. So we’ve got quite
a bit of dough. We usually can get about three
dozen cookies out of this so I’m going to take them
and put them in the oven. I put them in the oven at about
375 degrees and let them bake for usually about 12 minutes. Sometimes they may take
a little bit longer. Now there’s something
I want to tell you too. If you wanted to make a
different kind of cookie– , I’ll show you over
here, we have– , you can see the
darker ones here. All I’ve done with this is I’ve
added some cocoa powder to it so if you wanted to get
two kinds of cookies out of your batch you can go
ahead and do a dozen and a half of the plain and then add
some cocoa powder to this mix like I’ve done here and then
you can have some chocolate ones as well. [ Music ] I’d like to take a few minutes
and talk to you now about how to select some quality pots
and pans for your kitchen. I get asked all the time can’t
I go buy those pots and pans that we use in a restaurant? Well yeah you can but they’re
really not what you really want to have at home and I’m
going to show you why. Usually when we’re dealing
with something that is for a restaurant we’re dealing with something that
looks like this. This is made out
of solid aluminum. The aluminum is a really
good thing to choose for pots and pans because it
dissipates the heat evenly but if you put acid products in this you’re actually
getting aluminum into your food. What we use at home for the same
style of pot and pan is this. This is a wonderful
well-made pot. This will eventually
get beat up. And I truly I looked
around the kitchen to try and find some things that we can
show you how they get beat up. They get dented. You can see they get burned. They get all kinds of things and they’re not perfectly
round right now because of the way they get
thrown around in the kitchen and they’re designed to get
used up and thrown away. In a kitchen we go
through these like crazy. You can see all the dents
in the bottom of this. See all that happening? And all of this stuff, get
the rounded bottoms on them because these are all
made out of aluminum. See how the oil and the
fats stick to the bottom and they burn and you
never really quite get them clean enough. That’s really not what
you want to have at home. In the restaurants we go through
these things, we buy pots and pans brand new all the time. At home you don’t
want to do that. You want to make a quality
investment that’s going to last you– , if you buy
real quality you can pass these things down to your children so
they can last for generations. Now one thing you want
to look at is something that would have layers. Now the construction will
tell you whether it’s layers. Now this one has copper
and aluminum on the inside and it’s surrounded
with stainless steel which means it doesn’t just
have the copper or the aluminum on the very, very bottom. It’s all the way up to
the top and sandwiched into this whole pot
so you’re going to get the even heating
all around. The other thing you want
to look at is the handle. If the handle is solid onto
the pot like this one is, this handle is going to heat
up a lot quicker than a handle that has a little bit of
a flare in it at the end. You also want to look for a handle that’s got some
good solid rivets on it, that’s held very, very firmly
to the inside of the pot and the outside of the pot. You also want to see if it has
something to hang it up with because when you buy really
nice pots and pans you end up getting a pot rack, you hang
all these up because you kind of like want to show
them off, okay? When you’re buying a set
you want to find a lid that fits nice and tight
and personally I really like finding kinds
that have glass lids because then you can
take a look at it and see is the water already
gone from the rice instead of having to lift
it up and check. That way you can look and
see how your cooking is going without having to lift the lid
and lose any heat or any steam. Another thing you
might want to look at is a good nonstick frying pan and you want a nonstick frying
pan not for everyday cooking but for things like eggs
and omelettes and things that are kind of delicate. You can use these pots and
pans very, very easily. You could see the disc that
is on the bottom of this pan. This is different than this pan. This is all clad on the inside. The entire pan is clad with the
copper and the stainless steel and the aluminum sandwiched
all inside of here. This is an example of a pan that
has a disc on the bottom of it. Can you see that? It’s just a– , you can see
it, you can feel it, okay? So when you go and you’re
looking for your pots and pans you want to pick them
up, you want to feel them, you want to see that they
feel good in your hand. You don’t want to have something
that’s really lightweight because when you put it on the
heat and you turn that heat up to high and you walk away
whatever’s in your pan is going to really burn much, much faster than when you have
the solid heavy bottom or an all clad bottom
like these. These will be more
forgiving in your cooking and you’ll burn fewer
things than you would if had bought cheap thin pans
that don’t cost a lot of money. When you invest in a
set get a basic set so you have a stock pot, a
couple varieties of pans, a couple varieties
of pots with lids that could be interchangeable
to different things and that will last
you a good long time. It will last you for
years and generations as long as you wash them. One last tip I’m going to give
you about your pots and pans, don’t put them in the
dishwasher and if you happen to buy those kind that are black
on the outside putting them in the dishwasher will remove
that anodize from the outside and you’ll end up with like a really pale white
ashen-looking thing so some good points for starting
off and buying a selection of pots and pans that are going
to last you for a lifetime. [ Music ] I want to show you how you can
get the two cookies out of here. So now we’ve got our
dough and what we’re going to do is we are going
to add a little bit of cocoa powder to this. Cocoa powder. Well how much? We’re going to add
a quarter cup. So what you can do since you
get about three dozen cookies out of this you can scoop out a
dozen, dozen and a half cookies. You just might want to do this
for the whole batch if you want. If you’re going to do the
whole batch use a half a cup of cocoa powder. I like using the darkest
cocoa powder I can find and I’m just going to add a
little bit of cocoa in there and move this over and I’m
going to put everything back on the mixer and just
mix this in, okay? So, there we go. And cookie making can
always be so much fun. It could be messy. We like messes in the kitchen. Okay here we go. Put that on there like that. So we’ve got our
cocoa powder in there. Now be prepared because when you
start this it could go whoosh and you get cocoa powder
all over the place, okay? So here’s something you can do
to prevent that from happening. Take a nice clean towel and
just spread it over here until it gets started, okay? [ Mixer ] Okay so now that we’ve got
that cocoa powder all mixed in, one of the things
you want to watch for is still the
blond cookie mix that perhaps didn’t
get mixed in. You will see some of
the white in there because we do have almonds and that’s just normal
isn’t it, okay? So once you can get that
off the beater, take it off. I’m going to scoop it up and
I’m going to show you the inside of the bowl here
in just one second. I’m going to get
another sheet pan and if you notice my sheet pan
is lined with parchment paper. My parchment paper is there
to help prevent the cookies from sticking and if you didn’t
want to use parchment paper or you didn’t have parchment
paper you can use silicone baking sheets or just
brush it with a little bit of olive oil or something. Now we are going to
have a little bit of the blond cookie mix on
here so we can almost get like a marble look
on the cookie. It’s not going to be all
over and it’s not going to be very much but sometimes, especially with this little
creative look we’re doing here, we can get a little
bit of the marble look and then we can go all
the way for the chocolate. Once again space them. There’s a nice little marble. Space it so you have room for
six on one side of the sheet pan and six on the other
side of the sheet pan and remember they’re not
going to rise up a whole lot but they do create
the nice little domes and with the chocolate
you know what’s really, really good to put
on the chocolate, sprinkle it with a
little bit of salt. I know that sounds weird but
you hear the salted caramel, you hear of all those
salted things. It is so good on this. It is so absolutely
good on this. And there we go. And remember when you’re doing
this to take your little scoop and press it up against
the side of the bowl so you get nice even
cookies, okay? Just like that. And once again if you want
to put some of the icing, the drizzle icing on there at
the end, you certainly can. Do you have to? No. And if you put salt
on top of them it looks like little crystals
all shining. It’s wonderful. There we go. Another dozen cookies
ready to go in the oven and I’ve got another dozen left. So three dozen out
of this batch. Put them in the oven. 375 just like the other
ones for about 12 minutes. So when they come out of
the oven they’re not going to spread a whole lot. They get these beautiful
domes on them and one way you can tell
whether they’re done is press it down and it’ll feel firm. It’s not going to indent at all
but it’ll feel nice and firm and when it feels firm
that cookie is done, okay? So now we’re going to
take these cookies. We’re going to put
them on a place. You’re going to also see that something else I’ve done
is I’ve drizzled a little bit of the fondant icing on the
top and I’ve left some of them without the icing on them just
in case someone didn’t want to have the extra icing. So we’re going to put
them on the plate. Guess what we’re going to do. We’re going to eat them
and we’re going to eat them up with a great big glass
of fresh almond milk. It’s so good. When you do the almond milk
folks make sure you chill it down really well. Gee how many cookies
am I going to eat? Not that many. So I think I’m just going
to put these over here. I’ll leave these on here
since they’re not frosted. Put the rest of these on here
so people can help themselves. Could you add other
things to these? You could. Do you have to add
extra nuts to them? No. Can you put oatmeal in them? Yes. But the whole point of
this is to have another way of serving the almond debris
after you make your almond milk so you don’t have
to throw that away because it’s such good stuff. It’s such really
good stuff, okay? So, here’s some cookies. Let me pour a glass
of almond milk. We’ll see what that
looks like, okay? Now remember that I told you that the almond milk
will separate, all right? So if you put it in a nice
big glass pitcher you’re going to be able to see that as it
sits you’re going to be able to see it starting to separate
a little bit and that’s normal. That’s one of the reasons you
can’t see through the containers when you buy commercial almond
milk and I love this really so much because it doesn’t
have the extra ingredients. Sometimes the commercial almond
milk will have ingredients in it that will keep it
from separating which I don’t necessarily
think is something that we need to have
in our diets. So, here we go. Look at that nice big
fresh glass of almond milk and I’m going to put
the rest of it in here. There we go. We’re going to serve this
up, milk and cookies. There you go. How could you get any more
comfort home food than that? So I hope you enjoy
the almond milk. I hope you enjoy the
almond cookies and come up with some other ways
to use that almond debris. I was thinking of mixing it with
some water and flour and making like an almond cracker. Would that work? I’m not sure. I’ve only gotten as far
as the cookies so far and I can’t get past
the cookies. The family keeps saying
more cookies, more cookies so every time I make almond milk
I’ve got to make more cookies. What a hardship. Thank you so much for watching
this episode of Charlotte Cooks. You can find the recipes
for this on pbscharlotte.org or if you want to email
me I’d be more than happy to send you the recipe as well. My email is
[email protected] I’d love to hear from you
so please don’t hesitate. I always have time to respond
and you know I just really like hearing from the viewers. Try the cookies,
try the almond milk. Save yourself some chemicals. Have some real natural
almond milk. Avoid the dairy and feel
how much better you feel by having the almond milk. Thanks for watching this
episode of Charlotte Cooks and I’ll see you next time. Bye-bye now. [ Music ]>>A production of
WTBI PBS Charlotte.

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