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Chocolate Almond sparkles

Chocolate Almond sparkles

My brother came by my apartment last week. He gave me a box of dark chocolate as usual because he knew I addicted to it. I usually eat chocolate whenever I am tired or stressful. I read somewhere that chocolate really helps us to remove stress and makes us feel better when we are in a bad mood. Two day ago, my children asked me to make some chocolate chip cookies. They said they invited the awesome cookies when they dropped a friend’s house and that friend was always proud of his baker mom. Although I am really a bad cooker, I wanted to bring my children a surprise. Unfortunately, that was the day there was no all-purpose flour left in the kitchen cabinets while it was raining like cats and dogs outside. I could not wait until the next day so I decided to search for a best cookies recipe without flour.

I found this great recipe just requiring simple and popular main ingredients that are often available in any kitchen: bittersweet chocolate (Scharffen Berger mentioned in the below recipe is the best, others can lead to different results), cocoa powder, ground almonds, honey (I used blackberry honey). As I seldom make cookies, I read the recipe over before starting it and followed every step exactly. I mixed the dough and kept in the fridge for over 4 hours. However, forming the dough into small ball cookies was harder than I thought. The dough contained melting chocolate, cocoa powder, butter, honey, etc so that it was very sticky. I tried using some cooking oil to dab my hands and I could rolled them easily. You also need to notice baking time if you do not want to the tough and dry cookies. Finally, these cookies were wrapped sugar coats, which made their appearance more good looking and attractive. They had smell of almond and honey and tasted very delicious. My children love it very much. I think that it is truly easy to make and it well deserved considering as one of the best Christmas cookies 2015. Now I am very happy to share this awesome recipe with you.

Ingredients:

  • 9 ounces Scharffen Berger 70 percent bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar, plus more for rolling.
  • 1 tablespoon light-colored and flavored honey, such as acacia, clover, or blackberry.
  • 1/4 cup finely ground blanched almonds
  • 1 tablespoon Dutch-processed unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted Pinch of salt.

First, set aside 1/4 cup (1 ounce) of the chopped chocolate. Melt remaining 8 ounces in top of double boiler over gently simmering water or in a bowl in a microwave. Remove from heat and gently stir in pieces of butter until butter becomes incorporated and mixture is smooth. Let cool slightly.

Next, in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat eggs until thickened. Gradually add sugar and honey, increase speed to high and beat until a thick ribbon forms when you dribble the mixture back on itself. Don’t rush this stage, it might take a few minutes.

After that, fold melted chocolate into the egg mixture by hand, then fold in ground nuts, cocoa, salt, and reserved chopped chocolate. Cover with plastic wrap and chill dough until firm enough to roll, at least 4 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 325F. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Then roll chilled dough between your palms into 1 1/4-inch balls. Do this quickly and with a light touch to prevent sticking. Place 2 inches apart on prepared cookie sheets. Gently flatten just enough so they won’t roll off sheet. Meanwhile, place some granulated sugar in a small bowl to roll cookies in after they are baked. Bake until tops are dry but centers are still soft, about 12 minutes. If you try to gently lift the cookies, they should come away from the paper.

Finally, place sheets on racks to cool for 5 minutes, during which time they will firm up. Now place cookies, one at a time, in bowl with sugar and very gently turn them around in sugar to coat. Place cookies directly on racks to cool completely.

Chocolate Almond Sparkles


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