sparkling almond butter and chocolate cookies on a plate and on a cutting board

sparkling chocolate + almond butter cookies {and why procrastination works}

food, recipes, sweets, winter

the blog

So, here we are, two days away from Christmas. My boyfriend is at the grocery, picking up the last-minute details for our dinner on Thursday, and I am hustling to finish a few projects, before I leave for work. I keep telling myself the mayhem at the restaurant is almost over. I can do this. Just two more nights. This month is our busiest, as you would expect, and the entire staff is either overworked or fighting off illness or just plain exhausted.

Despite the craziness, I do enjoy this time of year. I love stringing up lights on the front porch, making garlands and wreaths, decorating the tree, lighting as many candles as possible, and baking as much as I possibly can. I always make several batches of sparkling peanut butter cookies, but I swapped the PB for almond butter this year, and I think they might be absolutely perfect.

I usually set aside a day or two, where I bake everything I’m giving away as gifts. I’ll crank out seven or more batches of cookies, decorate them, and package them up. This system has always worked for me. This year, however, I took my mom’s advice. “Jayme,” she said, “Why don’t you do what I do and bake a batch ahead and freeze it. That way, you can bake your cookies throughout the month, and by the time Christmas is here, you won’t be stressed for time, and all of your baking will be done!”

Wow. Brilliant idea! I’ll actually plan ahead and save myself some sanity. Those were my initial thoughts. So, earlier this month, I baked two batches, put them in the freezer, and told myself and Steve not to touch them. What innocently started out as sneaking a cookie or two became a series of late-night cookie-eating fests. Both of those batches are gone. All 75 of those cookies.

Mom’s advice isn’t always right {I foresee my mom popping up in the comments later on!}. In this case, procrastination wins. I’m fine waiting until the last-minute to bake, if it will prevent me from eating all of the cookies destined for my friends and family. In fact, I am guilty of actually opening up gifts I’ve already packaged for my friends, if I knew there was a chocolate bar or some cookies inside. Why I can’t just bake a new batch or run down to the store amazes me. Instant gratification, I guess!

And I know I’m not the only one guilty here!

sparkling chocolate + almond butter cookies

  • 1 3/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 cup cane sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup unsalted almond butter
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons almond milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Milk chocolate discs {I find mine at Whole Foods. You can also go classic and use chocolate kisses.}
  • granulated cane sugar for garnishing cookies
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugars, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a standing mixing bowl, cream together butter and almond butter until well-blended.
  4. Add the egg, almond milk, and vanilla to the butter mixture.
  5. Slowly add the flour mixture into butter mixture and mix until combined.
  6. Form dough into 1″ balls and roll in granulated cane sugar. I pour some in a small bowl.
  7. Place rolled dough onto parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Space cookies about 2″ apart.
  8. Bake for 10 minutes.
  9. Remove from oven and immediately press the chocolate discs onto the center of each cookie.
  10. Let cookies cool on baking sheet for 2 minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack.
  • Allow each cookie to cool, so that any melted milk chocolate has a chance to harden again. I’ve definitely made the mistake of stacking the cookies in haste, only to be disappointed with a chocolaty mess. I usually eat those, myself!
  • Try rolling the cookies in finely chopped toasted almonds or cinnamon sugar for another flavor profile and texture.
  • This recipe doubles well.

chocolate almond cookies cutting board with almond and chocolate cookies and vin santo

These cookies are so simple to make. They are extra delicious with the almond butter, but they are just as good, if you only have access to peanut butter. Lately, I have been making my own almond butter with my Vitamix. I find it cost-effective and satisfying to make my own. I’ll post the process soon.

For added decadence, which is always an option, I served these cookies alongside some Graham’s 10-Year Tawny Port. The notes of baking spices, cocoa powder, orange peel, toasted nuts, and dried figs are a perfect match for these cookies.

So, the moral of this delicious story is that procrastination CAN work in your favor. Set aside a baking day, last-minute, the day before you have to mail out your gifts. A freezer-full of a month’s worth of treats won’t be a temptation, and that added frenetic, holiday rush will power you through!

I hope you are enjoying a wonderful holiday season, no matter how you choose to celebrate! Come Thursday, I will be happily sequestered in my house, wearing my cozies, enjoying crab legs and Meursault, and watching Christmas movies. It looks like we’ll have snow on Thursday, as well!

Happy Holidays, my friends and family!



  1. Gail Henderson, aka, Mom says:

    Jayme, procrastination was at the top of your “good-bye” list on an earlier, but recent post!! Granted, it did serve a purpose. And your cookies are picture-perfect, and I’m sure, equally as delicious!! Perhaps, if mine turned out like yours, I, too, might have trouble keeping them in the freezer…

    • Mom, thanks for the kind reminder that procrastination was at the top of my “good-bye” list. You’re right. 😉 The cookies are all gone, by the way. I’ve already signed up for a couple of races to combat my excessive behavior, but I’m enjoying them guilt-free! Love you! Maybe I will even send you some….maybe in February? Merry Christmas!

  2. Zaza says:

    What a great idea to put the cookies in the freezer! Thanks 🙂
    Your cookies look fantastic!

    • It was a valiant effort to try and not eat all of these cookies right out of the freezer. If you have the willpower, freezing cookies ahead of time works very well. And this particular recipe freezes nicely. We just gave in. We finished the almond cookies tonight, so we have to bake more tomorrow. I just can’t eat those!! Your crinkle cookies look beautiful, by the way! 🙂

  3. Vanessa says:

    Those cookies look sooooo delicious! I understand the temptation! I keep taking “bites” of cookies and putting the it back into it’s storage. That way one cookie lasts me longer. ha! Hopefully Santa will have at least one left for Christmas!

    • Santa ain’t gonna have any cookies ’round this house! Steve just finished the last of the almond butter cookies and is currently pulling snickerdoodles out of the oven. I don’t think they’ll make it to the morning. Love you! Santa can find some cookies elsewhere! XO

  4. These look delicious! Love the photos

  5. Julia Sforza says:

    These are so pretty, Jayme! You make some perfectly gorgeous cookies. I’m so glad you made it through the holidays (you did, didn’t you? Oh, wait, there’s New Year’s…Happy New Year!) I need to get a good port; I haven’t been able to find one in my area.

    p.s. love that you mom comments on your blog too. ; )

    • Ha! Yes, it’s always nice, when my mom pops up here. 🙂 Hooray for our cheerleaders!! {It did take her a little while to figure out how to post the comments, though.} I am still going strong at work, but the end of the crazy season is in sight, thankfully. NYE looks insane right now – almost 600 reservations on the books, with a Champagne toast at midnight. I am saving my sparkling wine to enjoy the next day in the comfort of my own home. 😉 As far as port goes, if you can get your hands on Yalumba’s Antique Tawny Port {Australia} or the Warres Otima Port, do it. Those are my current faves and aren’t too crazy pricy. Happy 2015! It’s going to be a great year! I’m declaring it so!

  6. Joan Steese says:

    What fun reading your blog! I will have to try Almond Butter for these cookies some time. Don’t work too hard on NYE, and say hi to Steve! Mom Steese

    • Thanks so much for reading! These cookies were one of our favorites. I am super excited to bake your molasses cookies – thanks again for sending me the recipe and for mailing us some over Christmas! Steve says hello back! 😉 We love you!!

  7. Kylie says:

    Wow, these look sooo good! Pinned!

  8. […] of serving dessert wine after a meal either alone or alongside a sweet treat {case in point, here, here, and here}. I chose an acidic, sweet dessert wine to accompany this shortbread and lemon curd duo. […]

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