This is THE Johnston Cookie. Mary Jane made this cookie for as long as any of us can remember. She may have mentioned who she got the recipe from but I don’t remember. I have been making it for over forty years and although the ingredients are simple, making the cookie requires an understanding of the technique. Having a Kitchenaid mixer helps but I have made this by hand.
2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) margarine or butter, cold
2 teaspoons instant coffee
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon almond flavoring (optional)
1 cup chopped almonds
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine flour, sugar, margarine, coffee, salt, vanilla and almond flavoring. Beat at low speed until it becomes a light “sandy” mixture. (Do not overbeat; when the mixture is compressed in your hand it should clump but a little pressure should break the clump easily.)
Fold in chocolate chips and almonds. Pour into a 9 x 13 baking pan and press down evenly (do not over-compress). Bake for 25 to 28 minutes. Cookies are done when light brown around edges. Cool for 3 minutes, invert and dump from pan onto paper towels. Cut immediately into squares (8 x 8, or 6 x 9).
The butter should be cold and cut into chunks before being combined with the flour and sugar. Stop when the mixture reaches the consistency mentioned above. It’s okay if there are still small pieces of butter visible in the mixture.