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Nov 18, 2012 05:55 AM

Almond meal for "finely chopped nuts?

I want to try Deborah Madison's "A Little Nut Cookie" today.
The recipe calls for finely chopped nuts. Can I use almond meal as a substitute?
I'm assuming I can, since almond meal is basically finely chopped nuts.
Sorry if this is a dumb question, and thanks for your help!!

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  1. almond meal is usually "finer" than even "finely" chopped nuts. if you're using volume measures, you may alter the final product, but if you're using weight, then all that would change would be the texture.

    eta: just googled the recipe which is pretty straightforward, i wouldn't sweat it too much. although i'm not a fan of cooking nut oils. it oxidizes them. blech.

    2 Replies
    1. re: hotoynoodle

      You'll get a different result with almond meal than with chopped nuts, texturally.

      1. re: magiesmom

        So true. I often use almond meal in gluten-free applications and it is far, far finer than finely chopped nuts. It is used often to replace a starch in a recipe.

    2. I tried that once and the cookies just melted into a big mess.

      1. Almond meal is usually used (in my experience) as a flour sub, not a chopped nut sub. If you are rolling your cookies in chopped nuts, you could (in my experience) roll them in toasted wheat germ instead. But if the nuts are added to batter or dough, then it is better to omit them, IMO. Bake another recipe this time, and buy nuts for next week.

        1. Just to update...
          I followed the advice of many who said that almond meal is not a good substitute for chopped nuts, and so.I used chopped walnuts and walnut oil (as the recipe calls for). The recipe was very easy, and came together nicely, but I found the cookies a bit dry. They are tasty and crisp, and definitely taste like nut cookies, but I think they were just a bit dry. Any thoughts?
          Just so you know, the recipe calls for 1 1/4 cups flour, 1/4 pound butter, 3/4 cups brown sugar, 1 egg, 1 tsp. vanilla, 1 Tbs. nut oil, 1/4 tsp. salt, and 1 cup of chopped nuts.

          2 Replies
          1. re: bxgirl

            I've used almond meal instead of chopped nuts in cookies and quickbreads. No crunch, of course, but otherwise it works out fine.

            I don't think there's anything amiss in the proportions of the Madison recipe. Crispy cookies
            ARE dry compared to chewy or cakey cookies. Your oven temp may run high, or it could be your cookie sheet or carryover heat. Did you let the cookies cool in the pan or remove them right away? Over the years I have come to regard parchment as essential in cookie-baking. You can slide the sheet of cookies onto a cooling rack right away. This is really useful. Not to mention no clean-up. A silicone baking sheet is so slippery that the cookies slide off if you try to slip the sheet out of the pan, and you have to wash the silicone.

            1. re: greygarious

              Thanks, grey.
              I did use a silpat, but took the cookies off the silpat as soon as I took the pan out of the oven, and put the cookies on a cooling rack.
              I know the cookies should be dry, and that's why I love crispy cookies, but, to my taste, these were a tad too dry. I am now wondering if the walnuts were not the best nut to use (altho that is what the recipe uses). Walnuts have that funny (at least to me) aftertaste, and maybe that is what I am finding "dry."
              I did love how easy the recipe was to follow, and how easily it came together. I think next time, I'll use a different nut.

          2. I always grind pounds of Almonds and Hazelnuts myself to be used in Christmas Cookies. ( Elisen Lebkuchen etc.) I don't see any difference in texture/grade whatsoever. Now if you are looking for a specific taste, that would be another story. I have often shifted the balance between ground Almonds and ground Hazelnuts in some recipes depending on what I have on hand. It is perfectly fine.