Belgium almond thins and omelet-in-a-bag

Last week while in the office, my co-cubie and I busted out some Jules Destrooper almond thins. This was the first time I had ever heard of or even tried these Belgium cookies. Delish! I looked on the back of the thin box to see just what was in these heavenly crispy cookies. The ingredient list was surprisingly short and simple: Wheat Flour, Brown Sugar, Butter, Almonds (10%), Salt, Leavening, Sodium Bicarbonate. That was it. I immediately hit up my favorite search engine (I heart Google!) and began on my quest to find a copycat recipe. I wish I could say that I was inspired (and patient) enough to experiment on my own with the proportions of that simple ingredient list. But the truth of the matter is, I just wanted to path of least resistance to those cookies! My search lead me to a few different food/recipe forums/discussions with recipes that didn’t quite match the back of the Jules Destrooper box. I happened to stumble across a new favorite blog of mine: http://www.davidlebovitz.com/, blog of a pastry chef living in Paris, France. He had posted a recipe for Flo Braker’s Pain d’amande Cookies (http://www.davidlebovitz.com/archives/2009/04/flo_brakers_pain_damande_cookies.html) and although the ingredients were not exactly the same, the pictures that he posted looked similar to the Destrooper cookies and so I decided to give the recipe a try. These cookies were super simple to make. In fact, you basically just put all the ingredients into a pat and heat, then cool, then cut. Here are a few pictures from this baking adventure. My version is not quite as pretty as David’s and had more almonds than the Destrooper version, but I wouldn’t change a thing! Super delish!

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Notes:

–David’s recipe called for “sliced” almonds and I used slivered. It may be the reason that our cookies look different, but that’s all the store had.

–The recipe yielded about 64 cookies for me. David’s recipe said it would yield about 80-90 cookies. Maybe it’s because I didn’t cut mine as thin as his. Cutting them super thin was a little bit challenging.

–I baked the cookies for 9:42 on each side and the texture was perfect. Perfectly browned and perfectly crispy.

–I used a simple butter knife to help me turn each cookie over quickly.

–Using parchment paper ensured that the cookies didn’t stick and I also didn’t have to use any oil.

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This picture, while not the best, does give you an idea of about how thin I slice them. The cookie in the middle (the prettiest one) is most representive of the batch.

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I took these to the office to share and everyone loved them! Many even said they preferred my version over the Destrooper version! I then shared some with R and didn’t have to ask him twice to eat them. He loved them too! I can’t say I didn’t eat my fair share either. This recipe is definitely a keeper. I think they will even make for a good recipe to send to PM in Afghanistan.

Onto my cooking adventure for tonight…here was my dinnner:

1 heirloom tomato (courtesy of DM’s garden)

1 three-egg omelet-in-bag

This heirloom tomato had the most beautiful colors.

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For my omelet-in-a-bag (idea courtesy of JA), I used 3 eggs, tomatoes, onions, and cheese, salt and pepper. i boiled a pot of water.

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I put all ingredients into a Ziplock baggie and put the baggie into the pot of boiling water.

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I then let it boil for about 5 minutes or so and then removed it.

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I noticed that it wasn’t exactly done (still a tiny bit of liquid inside the bag) and so I microwaved it for a minute. Here is the final product.

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Notes:

–Probably should’ve let it cook for about 7-8 minutes

–Next time, will add ham or green pepper. Maybe even mushrooms.

–JA said these were great for camping or for when lots of breakfast guests come over. You could just fix up an omelet fixins’ station with ingredients, Ziplock bags and a Sharpie marker (to write their name on the outside of the bag). Throw all the baggies into a large pot of boiling water. And then…wah-lah! All of your guests can eat personalized omelets at the same time.

–After I ate mine for dinner tonight, I actually made up another baggie with all the leftover ingredients that I had and am going to boil it up for breakfast tomorrow morning. I’m sure I could even had made up a couple more and just had a week’s worth of hot breakfasts ready to go. I may do this for R next week.

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