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Streusel Cookie Recipe & Video

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If you just love the streusel part of any dessert, then you must try this recipe for a Streusel Cookie (also known as a Crumb Cookie). It's one of those recipes that can be mixed together and into the oven in less than ten minutes, yet the flavor is so good that you'll wish all cookies were this easy to make. It reminds me of a shortbread cookie, as it has a crisp and crumbly, yet chewy texture, with a buttery sweet flavor. What's great too is that it's loaded with chunks of crunchy almonds. I like how you bake the cookie in a cake pan so that it's one giant sharing cookie (or cake). And instead of cutting it into wedges, the tradition is to leave the cookie whole so that everyone just serves themselves by breaking off a piece as big, or as small, as they like. You will find that after breaking the cookie into pieces, there are lots of crumbs left behind to nibble on or to sprinkle over a bowl of ice cream or pudding. 

This Streusel Cookie originated in Mantova Italy, where it's known as Sbrisolona. The trick to this recipe is to simply combine all the ingredients together, working them just until you have a coarse mixture that's just starting to clump together (you don't want a cohesive dough). Then just pour the crumb mixture into your cake pan, pat it down gently, (you don't want a smooth top, it should be rough and rustic looking) and bake until golden. The longer you bake the cookie, the more crisp it will become.

A few notes on ingredients. I like to use whole almonds with skins on, but you can use blanched whole almonds. Or you could use other nuts instead of almonds, or even a combination of nuts. And I toast the almonds first to bring out their full flavor, and once cooled, cut them so they are still in fairly large chunks. I like the addition of cornmel (or semolina) as it provides a slight sandiness to the texture which is very pleasing. If using cornmeal, you can use white or yellow and I like to use either regular or finely ground, not coarsely ground.

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Streusel Cookie Recipe: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Place the almonds on a baking sheet and bake for about 8 minutes or until lightly browned and fragrant. Remove from oven and let cool completely on a wire rack, and then coarsely chop.

Have ready a 9 inch (23 cm) lightly buttered springform pan or tart pan (or spray with a non stick vegetable spray).

Place the flour, cornmeal, sugars, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl and whisk or stir to combine. Add the butter and, with your fingers, work (or rub) into the flour mixture until you have coarse crumbs. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the egg yolk and extracts and mix until you have a crumbly mixture (you don't want it to be a ball of dough). Add the almonds and stir to combine.

Pour the crumbled mixture into the prepared pan and lightly press the crumbs (you want an uneven surface so don't compact the crumbs too much). Bake for about 30 - 35 minutes or until the top is golden brown. (The longer you bake the cookie, the more crisp it will become.) Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool completely (at least two hours). As the cookie cools it will become more crisp. Break into uneven pieces. Can be stored at room temperature for about 10 days or it can be frozen.

Makes 1 - 9 inch (23 cm) cookie.

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Streusel Cookie Recipe:

3/4 cup (135 grams) whole natural almonds (skins on)

1 cup (130 grams) all purpose flour

1/3 cup (60 grams) firmly packed cornmeal (white or yellow) or semolina

1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated white sugar

1/4 cup (55 grams) packed light brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup (113 grams) room temperature unsalted butter, cut into small chunks

1 large (20 grams) egg yolk

1/8 teaspoon pure almond extract

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

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