Grab a cup of tea, because this is the cookie it was meant to hang out with!
The week should be winding down, which is good. My head is packed with to-do lists and tasks, and it’s always a good feeling when Friday evening hits and everything comes to a halt. No calls, no texts, no notifications. Just me and the fam!
When life gets crazy, cups of tea are important. Sometimes, I need a little more than just tea to calm down, and that’s where a good cookie companion comes into play. These Eastern European cookies are very similar to biscotti, but they’re built on a smaller scale and have a little more softness to them. The traditional version just contains nuts, but I added chocolate chips and a nice sprinkling of cinnamon sugar on top. You can’t go wrong with that!
As I write this, I’m halfway listening to my daughter’s tutoring session. She’s entering first grade, and I’m that crazy mom who wants to make sure that her math and reading are up to par before the school year starts. In case nobody told you, first grade is where things get serious. No more free play or downtime, except for recess. They drive those kids hard. And there’s not really a transition from the free and easy days of yore, so it can be quite a shock for the kids.
Not to mention the parents. I really dislike coming home from a day of teaching to, well, do it some more. I love teaching other people’s kids, but my own? Not so much. There’s too much emotion involved, and it mixes business with personal. Trying to be patient while teaching your own kid to master basic math can send anyone to the loony bin.
So, for the sake of sanity, I hired a tutor. It’ll be easier on my daughter and easier on me, and she’ll be ready for all that homework. It seems like a good solution, even though when I was in first grade, I didn’t know what a tutor was. Times change and all that.
Since working is the opposite of winding down and Friday evenings only come once a week, I’m very into enforced chillaxing. That’s where a tea and cookie break comes into play!
My favorite part of this recipe is that, aside from mixing up in one bowl, it’s also butter-free. In other words, it’s kind of on the healthier side. No objections from this quarter!
I hope you have a relaxing weekend free of all hard work. We all need some chillaxing!
Chocolate Chip Almond Mandel Bread
1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup chocolate chips
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- Preheat the oven to 350. Line two cookie sheets with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine the oil and sugar until blended. Add the eggs and vanilla, stirring until smooth.
- In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Gradually add the dry mixture to the wet mixture until all ingredients are incorporated. Fold in the nuts and chocolate chips.
- Divide the dough into two pieces and form two large logs, about two inches wide and several inches long. Place one log on each baking sheet.
- In a small bowl, combine the cinnamon and sugar. Sprinkle evenly over the logs.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes until golden. Remove from the oven and cool for 10 minutes. Slice into strips.
- Cool the mandel bread completely. They will harden as they cool. Store in an airtight container.