Pittsburgh, for all its city claims, is essentially a small town. Everyone knows everyone, usually with two degrees of separation or fewer. One of my favorite Pittsburgh connection stories came recently, when I learned that my coworker, Josh, is married to a girl who went to my elementary school; that he and his wife were married in the church I attended as a kid; and, that his in-laws buy cakes for all of their family celebrations from Mrs. Mileski, who lives up the street from my childhood home (and whose cakes are renowned in the Verona/Penn Hills area).
Josh and I realized our uncanny connection during a conversation about Oakmont Bakery, a stellar establishment that offers a delicious alternative to the Prantl’s burnt almond torte (and happens to be the bakery that made my wedding cake). He’s a burnt almond torte fan, and because this is his last week in our office – he’s accepted a great opportunity in another part of our organization – I’ve baked these burnt almond torte-inspired cookies for him. Farewell, Josh! Enjoy!
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
In a mixing bowl, beat butter on medium speed for 30 seconds.
Add granulated sugar and almond extract and beat until combined.
Beat in flour.
Cover and chill dough for about one-half hour, until easy to handle.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with foil or parchment.
Using a two-inch cookie scoop, scoop dough and roll into balls. Place on baking sheets about two inches apart, then flatten slightly with the bottom of a glass.
Bake 14 minutes, until bottoms are light golden brown.
Allow to cool before frosting.
- 3 tablespoons butter, softened
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 tablespoon almond extract
- 2 to 3 tablespoons heavy cream
In a mixing bowl, beat butter on medium speed for about 1 minute.
Add powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and almond extract; beat until fully combined.
Add heavy cream about 1/2 tablespoon at a time, beating well after each addition to reach a fluffy, buttercream consistency.
- 1 1/2 cups sliced almonds
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons water
In a medium bowl, combine almonds, sugar, and water; stir to combine.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Place half of the almond mixture in a saute pan over medium heat. Cook, stirring regularly, for about 4-5 minutes until almonds turn a light golden brown. Almonds will start out looking wet and will appear dry when they are almost done.
Remove to the parchment paper to cool and repeat with the second half of the almonds. Allow to cool completely before using.
Note: you’ll only need about 3/4 cup for this recipe, so you can reserve your burnt almonds for another use or just keep them around for snacks. They’re delicious on their own!
Roughly chop burnt almonds; set aside.
Frost cookies, then dip tops into burnt almonds, pressing gently so the almonds will stick.
Store in an airtight container at room temperature.