Ch. 30: Miso Almond Butter Cookies- a lesson in well balanced desserts

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When I first saw the recipe for these Miso Almond Butter Cookies, my first thought was “There’s no way this can be bad.” I’ve managed to bake enough to the point where I’m getting better at pairing flavors together- looking for balance to add complexity to a dish. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think to put miso and almond butter together- except perhaps in the shopping cart at a Whole Foods. The recipe comes from Chris Morrocco of Bon Appetit who’s known as a “super taster” in his ability to distinguish flavors. That alone gave me the comfort I needed in order to make this. The only remaining puzzle piece was the miso which proved to be a little difficult to find. We checked at different stores only to find miso soup mix- not exactly what I was looking for. I finally was able to pick up a tub and got back to the kitchen to try these out. 

The recipe starts out like many Bon Appetit cookie recipes in its use of brown butter. I’m a firm believer that brown butter makes everything taste good- with its nutty, almost toffee-like flavor just intensifying whatever it is you’re making. It starts by cooking butter in a sauce pot until the water evaporates and those milk solids caramelize. At the end, you get this amber colored butter with all these little brown bits that are bursting with flavor. That’s then mixed with dark brown sugar (again more flavor!) followed by an egg. Next comes the two main flavor juggernauts- almond butter and miso. The flour and baking powder is then mixed into the dough before resting for a little bit. Chris’ recipe calls for whole wheat flour, but honestly, you could swap for AP and it’ll be just fine. Then when you’re ready to bake, simply portion into balls and give them that traditional cross hatch pattern ala peanut butter cookies. Once these come out of the oven, they’re then dipped in some chocolate and sprinkled with flakey (or in my case, coarse) salt. 

The flavor of these cookies is incredible- they’re probably the most balanced cookie I’ve ever eaten. The sweet brown sugar is cut by the added salt, while the nuttiness of the brown butter is complimented by the creamy almond butter. The miso also adds this little funkiness that takes these away from your standard nut butter cookies and puts it into its own gourmet category. All that buttery dough is then given it’s additional sweetness with the addition of the chocolate. Chris recommends bittersweet, however semisweet was all I could find. It ended up working out great as the cookie itself kind of straddles the line between sweet and savory. It’s not listed, but Chris mentioned in an instagram reply that white or yellow miso works best here as red or brown miso can be quite overpowering. The miso in this was subtle but not prominent- again just the right balance. The only change I made was the addition of 2 tablespoons of extra flour to tighten the dough up as it stayed quite soft after resting. The resulting cookie was crunchy on the outside with a chewy center- just how I like them. If you’re looking for a cool way to elevate your standard peanut butter cookie, these are a really tasty and complex option. 

Full Recipe | Method by Chris Morocco of Bon Appetit:

https://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/miso-almond-butter-cookies

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