King Arthur Flour's Fudge Pudding Cake
Little Giant

Regina Schrambling's Almond-Cranberry Cookies


Well, actually, these aren't meant to be made with almonds. They're supposed to be pistachio-cranberry cookies (with vanilla extract instead of almond extract, and salted, chopped pistachios instead of toasted almonds). But yesterday was the kind of dark, cold day that simply begged for a lit oven and a tray or two of baking cookies to perfume the house, and since I had everything I needed except the pistachios and the vanilla extract, I thought it'd be okay to fudge with the recipe a bit.

And it was! The cookies are soft, tender little things that are filled with nuts and fruit which give the cookies some heft and an agreeable bite. The kosher salt, as always, brings out a tasty sparkle in the dense fug of brown sugar and butter. You can chew on a few of these while hugging your mug of hot tea close to your body under a blanket on the couch and not feel so bad about the Sunday blues after all.

Otherwise, you can wait until the cookies cool, stack them neatly in a pretty little bag with a tie, and give them to your boyfriend who has had quite a long, tiring weekend, or bring them along to wherever you're having Thanksgiving to be nibbled while the menu is being planned, or, of course, just hoard them happily for your afternoon tea. They're simple, wholesome cookies that bring comfort and warmth to these gray autumn days.

Almond-Cranberry Cookies
Makes about 3 dozen cookies

1 3/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 cups packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup blanched almonds, toasted and coarsely chopped
1/2 cup dried cranberries

1. Stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt and set aside.

2. Cream the butter and brown sugar together with a wooden spoon until smooth. Blend in the egg and vanilla. Gradually blend in the dry ingredients until well mixed. Stir in the nuts and cranberries.

3. Drop the dough by tablespoons onto ungreased baking sheets, leaving about 2 inches between each. Bake the cookies in a 375-degree oven until light golden brown (centers should be soft), about 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand 2 minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool completely.