Almond Shortbread CookiesOur best cookie experiences happen like this: take a single bite, then stop and say, “Wow.” As the baker of such a surprising cookie, you’ll need to unravel the reasons, the science, the magic. So here we go…

See the list of ingredients for the “Almond Shortbread Cookies,” from the March 2016 issue of Food & Wine. The list is totally attractive -- and vegan. We get a triple hit of almonds (sliced, ground, and butter), a bit of trendy coconut oil, and an amount of flour and sugar.

I don’t toast nuts in the oven. I added my sliced almonds to a small, dry skillet on the stove top, and watched them and shook them around until they toasted. It’s so much easier, this way.

After mixing my cookie batter, I pressed 2 Tbsp. of it into a cohesive ball in my fist, then flattened the ball on my baking sheet with my palm. I pressed out 27 cookies, then baked.

So, we take that bite. Wow. It’s true: there’s none of the “richness” that we associate with eggs and butter. What we do get is the sandiness of good shortbread. Almonds, coconut, salt. Addictive, enticing, great. Enjoy.

PREP TIME: eat your cookies after a combined hour of prep, baking, and cooling
TASTE: sandy shortbread: almonds, coconut, salt

Bitten by the baking bug, next time I will attempt the “Strawberry-Buttermilk Fonuts,” from the February 2013 issue of Saveur. I’m ready to play with freeze-dried strawberries, crushed to a powder. Come back to my site next week, to see what happens.