Monday, 29 February 2016

Chocolate Almond Spice Cookies (Basler Brunsli)

You know what, every experienced cook or chef will tell you the golden rule in cooking, or following a recipe to be more precise, is to read the recipe first.  And I still forget to sometimes. 

The problem is I've got the attention span of a fruit fly.  I'll find a recipe and I'll glance at it and I'll get so excited about it that I just start cooking and halfway through it's like oh I need to soak this overnight. Oh I need a kitchenaid. Or oh I need to leave these cookies to dry for 3 hours before I can bake them.  And so yea, I wanted to bring these cookies to a dinner but halfway through I realized I didn't have enough time....And there was also a moment of "oh this recipe makes enough cookies to feed a village".

Lesson is, again and again, I never learn - read the recipe first.
 I've never had these cookies before but from the way I made them they sort of taste like amaretti.  But spiced, and just better in general, they're from Basel in Northern Switzerland.  In all honesty I didn't leave them out to dry for three hours like the recipe said, I think little impatient me waited for twenty minutes before I popped them into the oven, and they tasted lovely.  Maybe the texture wasn't right -- they're meant to be chewy but I left them in the oven for a bit too long which resulted in a delightfully crunchy biscuit.  They are incredibly sweet - it is a lot of sugar.  It's butter- and wheat-free if that's of any consolation.

Very sweet, but lovely dunked in a cup of espresso or tea.  It's a matter of taste, because I can just eat these cookies on their own until all my teeth fall out.

Also!  These cookies couldn't be simpler. You literally just put everything in a food processor.

Makes about 4 dozen
Recipe from Saveur
8oz/227g whole blanched almonds
1 1/2 cups sugar, plus more for rolling
6oz/170g dark chocolate, finely chopped
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
2 egg whites, lightly beaten.

Finely grind almonds and sugar in a food processor. Add chocolate and pulse until finely ground. 

Add the spices and sugar, pulse until combined.  And finally add the egg whites, pulse to make a dough.

Sprinkle a large piece of parchment paper with sugar, transfer dough to paper. Lay another piece of paper on top and roll to about 1/8" thickness.

Cut out cookies using desired cutters.  Place the cookies on lined baking trays about 1" apart from each other.

Reroll the scraps of dough and repeat.

Let the cookies dry for 3 hours.  Then heat oven to 300F/150C and bake until cookies are slightly puffed, 12-15min.

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