My grandma is the sort of woman who is quiet and unassuming until she gets to know you well.
But once she gains confidence with you, she starts to feed you, non-stop. Whether at dinner, at lunch, or in between meals, she always seems to have something to offer a hungry and empty stomach. It’s her way of showing love.
I first told you about my grandma (whom I call “Nai Nai”) when I made these lemon squares, a dessert whose story was really what initially attracted me to them. It was the lead to a story which ultimately reminded me of my grandma and staying at her house for a large part of my childhood, returning to her welcoming arms after the kindergarten bus would drop me off after childcare.
My grandma, who really is my dad’s stepmother – because my real grandmother passed away when my dad was barely 20 years old, and my grandpa remarried not long after – is the only grandmother I know.
And long before she had her own real grandchildren, she had already adopted my siblings, my cousins and myself as her own.She fed us goodies every time we stayed over at her house; she made us cakes, jellies, dumplings and plenty of other dishes. Of course, she also made snacks like cookies, and her specialty cookie was this one – browned butter almond cookies which tasted of heaven, if ever heaven was a flavor.
BROWNED BUTTER ALMOND COOKIES
These cookies have a buttery caramel aroma and taste, and their unique wet-sand texture makes them dissolve in your mouth.
Each cookie is topped with an almond half that had been toasted a camel brown by the heat of the oven, and they are made to be savored, in every single sense, after which you can’t help but devour them because they are so damn good.
Grandma makes these cookies perhaps once or twice a year – especially during the Chinese New Year season.
A transparent plastic container filled with these delightful cookies would adorn our kitchen table, along with other Chinese New Year goodies, and we’d all fight to be the first to peel off the sticky tape on the cover, and take the first piece.
While the almonds are what you first spot on the cookies, in my opinion, its really the browned butter biscuit base which creates the incredibly amazing taste.
It’s hard to put these cookies down once you’ve discovered their magic and their addictive taste, spilling with the rich flavors of butter which had been slowly heated until a very pretty caramel brown, and the toasted almond nut on top. I’m munching on these melt-in-your-mouth cookies as I type this, and I can’t help but lick my lips for leftovers because each crumb is precious and out-of-this-world delicious.
I believe everyone’s grandma probably has some kind of to-die-for recipe, like these cookies, or maybe these lemon squares which were made for Michelle by her grandmother throughout her childhood. That’s why grandmas are so special and well-loved- they spoil us grandchildren till our stomachs’ content.
These browned butter almond cookies were my grandma’s peace treat; her magical cookies; our delights.
When I asked my mum for the recipe the other day, I was slightly apprehensive about making them – because I’d never browned butter before.
But when I finally started heating the butter in the pan, over a very light heat, it started sizzling and transforming into one of the most aromatic smells I’d every known – a smell which reminded me of the stroopwaffles that my dad used to bring us as a souvenir from his work trips in the Netherlands.
I imagined my grandma making them in her house, each batch of cookies filled with love. It made me smile. I love her.
I’d love the share the recipe with all of you…but it’s going to be kept as as family secret!
(Hehehe. Sorry guys. Hopefully the pictures will be enough for all of you!)