Thursday 18 June 2020

Bon Appétit Recipe Test : Miso Almond-Butter Cookies

I first saw this recipe during the 'pantry dessert' episode where the BA food editors make a dessert from their home pantry with whatever they had with them at the time. Chris Morocco made miso almond-butter cookies and at the time, it didn't really sound appealing.

At Ezel's urging to try the recipe and as I looked around my own pantry, I had just enough miso paste and just enough peanut butter to make these cookies so what the heck, let's do it. 

Almond butter is expensive here and I had peanut butter so why waste? And Ezel had coconut sugar so I used that instead of dark brown sugar. Coconut sugar is also brown okay. My peanut butter was a chunky no sugar, no salt pure peanut butter so I had to blitz it with my hand blender to make it a little smoother. There were tiny bits of peanuts in the end product - extra texture!

Again, there's nothing to exotic about the ingredients and method (just the out of place miso paste). I got lazy to brown the butter in the stove so I used the microwave oven! I heated it in 30 seconds to 1 minute intervals and I probably got up to the 4th minute when brown bits started appearing in at the bottom of the bowl. The butter smelled so good after it browned, just like freshly popped butter popcorn!

You would think that the miso flavor would be noticeable in the cookie but it really wasn't. While it baked, all I could smell was peanut butter and when it was done baking, it tasted like a savory peanut butter cookie. A slight tinge of umami but no strong miso flavors. It was really good! I forgot to sprinkle on the sea salt after it came out of the oven but the miso paste already has salt in it so it was salty enough for me.

The chocolate dip option didn't harden at room temperature (well, the chocolate isn't tempered) so I'd suggest taking the chocolate chip route instead. The chocolate does bring a different depth of flavor to the cookie especially if you use a bittersweet chocolate so I highly recommend this step.
Do try this recipe (here at if you're a nut butter fan and wouldn't mind some savory flavor in your sweets. 

So good was the recipe that I had to attempt it a second time, this time with actual almond butter and with chocolate chips in the cookies itself (yes, no chocolate hardening problems!).

To take it one step further, Ezel made almond butter from scratch using the food processor. It took a long while for the butter to form, about 20 minutes and the color is much lighter than usual nut butter because it was raw nut butter. The brown butter got a bit browner this time so there was a bit of a bitter aftertaste that didn't come from the dark chocolate chips.

I bought an almond butter jar just to test what it tasted like and it was like concentrated toasted almonds. The cookies had about a tablespoon of the unsweetened commercial almond butter but overall, there wasn't much of a nutty flavor because we used a different miso paste this time.

The Koji miso was much more intense in flavor than the previous white miso so the flavor became more pronounced in the cookie, also making the cookie saltier than before. Because there wasn't an intense peanut flavor, this batch had a more salted brown butter and fermented beans flavor. It was not bad but I would've liked a stronger nut flavor.

Unlike the first attempt, the cookies turned out much crunchier and after leaving it out to cool, mostly hardened leaving a slight bit of softness right in the middle. The recipe is so much better as a crunchy cookie compared to the softer ones from before.

It was an interesting experience to get such varying results and I wouldn't mind making this again with a few tweaks of my own. Add toasted peanuts? Perhaps some rolled oats? Or perhaps both? Either way it sounds like a delicious combo!