Chocolate- and Almond-Dipped Sandwich Cookies
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- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 12 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, chopped
- 6 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, chopped
- 1 1/4 cups slivered almonds (about 5 ounces), toasted, chopped
Place slivered almonds in processor and add 1/4 cup sugar. Grind almonds finely. Using electric mixer, beat butter and remaining 3/4 cup sugar in large bowl until well blended. Beat in egg yolk, vanilla extract, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Add ground-nut mixture and flour and beat until moist clumps form. Gather dough into 2 balls; flatten each ball into disk. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate at least 1 hour and up to 2 days.
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Roll out half of dough between sheets of waxed paper or parchment paper to scant 1/4-inch thickness, sprinkling dough lightly with flour as needed to keep from sticking and occasionally peeling off top paper to remove wrinkles. Peel off top sheet. Using 2 1/2x1 1/2-inch oval cookie cutter (or cardboard template), cut out cookies. If dough is soft, slide rimless baking sheet under paper and chill 10 minutes to firm. Transfer cookies to prepared sheets, spacing 1/2 inch apart. Gather scraps and reroll dough, cutting out more cookies. Chill cookies on sheets 15 minutes before baking.
Position racks in top third and bottom third of oven; preheat to 325°F. Bake cookies 5 minutes. Reverse sheets and bake until cookies begin to color, about 6 minutes. Cool cookies on sheets 5 minutes. Transfer to racks; cool completely. Repeat with remaining dough.
Bring cream to simmer in heavy medium saucepan. Remove from heat; add chocolate and whisk until melted and smooth. Let cool until thick but still spreadable, about 2 hours.
Place half of cookies, bottom side up, on work surface. Spoon ganache filling into pastry bag fitted with 1/4-inch plain tip. Leaving 1/4-inch plain border, pipe (or spread) ganache on cookies. Top each with second cookie, bottom side down, pressing to adhere.
Stir chocolate in top of double boiler over simmering water until smooth. Place almonds in small bowl. Dip end of 1 cookie in chocolate, then in almonds. Transfer to sheet of foil. Repeat with remaining cookies. Let stand until garnish is set. DO AHEAD Can be made 2 days ahead. Store airtight in refrigerator in single layers between sheets of waxed paper.
Amaretti – Italian Chewy Almond Cookies
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Amaretti cookies are probably the world&rsquos most famous Italian cookies out there.
Slightly crunchy on the outside they&rsquore perfectly chewy gooey inside.
With the first bite feel bitter sweet almond flavor coating your pallet.
Sweet Italian wines like Passito or Moscato Dolce is the best company for amaretti, but a cup of espresso will not hurt either 😉
In the original recipe instead of almond extract you should use approx 20-25% from the total quantity of almonds &ndash &ldquoarmelline&rdquo &ndash bitter almonds or apricot kernels.
By the way, this is where the name Amaretti is coming from (&ldquoamaro&rdquo in Italian means bitter).
Amaretti are widely spread in all regions of Italy and in each you&rsquoll find a slight variation on the ingrdients. Some like to add a pinch of vanilla, others add lemon zest.
But originally, there were just two authentic versions of Amaretti.
Amaretti di Saronno (Lombardy region) and Amaretti di Sassello (Liguria region).
The first, Amaretti di Saronno, remain crispy and dry. They&rsquore often used as an ingrdient in other Italian dessert recipes.
The last, Amaretti di Sassello, on the contrary remain chewy and softer. And these are exactly what we&rsquore making today.
Notice, there is NO flour whatsoever, so amaretti are 100% gluten free.
There are two ways how you can make them in your own kitchen.
- Using almond flour and powdered or confectioneers sugar. In this case there is no need for a food processor.
- Use whole peeled almonds and regular sugar. Make a fine grind flour with a blender of food processor.
NOTE: Following the second method you can either choose to toast your almonds in the oven or leave them as they are. Flavor and color will be slightly diferent, but it&rsquos not a game changer at all. More of a personal preference.
Now, armelline are pretty hard to find, so I&rsquom adding almond extract instead.
However, if you DO happen to find them or get apricot kernels online, grind together 5 oz of apricot seeds together with almonds (or approx. 20% of total almonds weight) and skip the almond extract.
Amaretti are really quick and easy to make.
Here&rsquos a quick photo step-by-step overview. Note the consistency of the dough.
The secret to beautiful white balls with crinkles &ndash LOTS of confectioners sugar. Don&rsquot tap of the access or smooth it out with your hands. Powdered sugar should remain fluffy on the cookie.
Chocolate- and Almond-Dipped Sandwich Cookies - Recipes
Christmas Cookies Week continues! I'm so excited to share today's cookie, and I'm definitely getting a little concerned about my freezer space when I see several more amazing cookies that I can't wait to try in today's roundup. Thanks again to Ellen of Family Around the Table for hosting this event!
Almond is one of my favorite flavors year round, but there's something about the holidays that really makes me love it even more. It has always been a staple in my Christmas baking, and it brings back so many nostalgic memories of trays heaped with goodies at holiday gatherings.
|Sponsor Nielsen-Massey provided me with Pure Almond Extract|
To make today even better, Nielsen-Massey Fine Vanillas & Flavors is giving one winner a set of their pure flavors: 2-oz each of Orange, Lemon, Peppermint, Almond, Chocolate, Coffee, Rose Water, and Orange Blossom Water. This giveaway is open to residents of both the US and Canada. Ensure to enter at the bottom of this post!
To me, shortbread is a classic holiday cookie. Last year, one of the best new recipes I tried was a coffee shortbread, created by Feeding Big. Her recipe inspired me to create these Chocolate Coconut Almond Dipped Shortbread. I adapted her recipe, linked above, to create these little pieces of magic!
For the cookies:
1 cup butter (I actually used salted, and then didn't add any salt to the recipe)
3/4 cup icing sugar, sifted
3/4 tsp almond extract (such as Nielsen-Massey pure almond extract)
2 cups flour, sifted
For the dip:
|Roll an approximate 9x13 rectangle|
1/2 cup whole almonds
1/2 cup flaked coconut
Cream softened butter (NEVER USE MARGARINE HERE!) until it is smooth and shiny.
Gradually add icing sugar and beat on medium speed for about 2 minutes. It will be super light and look like a very buttery buttercream icing.
Add extract and beat until combined.
Stir in sifted flour with a wooden spoon until fully incorporated. I do this a half cup at a time.
On a lightly floured piece of parchment paper, roll your dough into a 9x13 inch rectangle. Cover tightly and refrigerate until fairly firm (about 2 hours).
|All baked and ready to dip|
When cookies have fully cooled, prepare your dip ingredients. Melt chocolate in 20 second increments in the microwave, stirring after each time, until it is smooth. Pulse almonds in a food processor, or chop them by hand until they resemble small crumbs. I add the coconut to my food processor at this time to give it a few more pulses and mix together.
Dip about 1/3 of each cookie in chocolate, allowing excess to drip off. Dip in the almond and coconut mixture. Place cookies on a parchment lined tray until chocolate is set.
Now eat one of those cookies before you seal them into an airtight container until Christmas! These freeze beautifully. Pull them out as you need them.
Chocolate-Glazed Mocha Fans
I used to make quite a few holiday cookies. The prep routine went something like this: wallow through the recipes until the calendar pressured me into making choices make sure there’s not only a variety of flavors, but textures and shapes as well and vary the types to spark some interest, making sure to include pastry cookies, or bar cookies. I’d look forward to settling down with a cup of coffee and a notebook then make my master ingredient list. I couldn’t wait to begin, planning on who would receive my cookies and how I’d package them. Add two little boys under the age of five to the mix and wonder with me now how I managed to pull it off. Clearly, I was delusional.
I’ve no small children at home now, and haven’t for years. What I do have is a very pleasant senior in high school who wandered into our kitchen last Sunday as I was getting organized and asked, ” Mom. Do you need any help today?” as he bent his tall, willowy frame over to give me a hug. For a second, I wondered whether his dad, who was headed for the Chargers game had given him some direction before he left, perhaps feeling unnecessarily guilty for abandoning us on a Sunday, but it was only a fleeting second. For those of you who have not yet had your children grow up to be teenagers, please know I’ve raised three, and as much as they can be quite good at passive resistance, they’re also kind people.
Credit to aforementioned resident teen whose offer of assistance I accepted in making these Chocolate-Glazed Mocha Fans. He gets credit for having a hand steady enough to place the pearls.
Chocolate-Glazed Mocha Fans
- Nonstick vegetable oil spray
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons instant espresso powder or coffee powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
- 3/4 cup whipping cream
- 8 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, chopped
Don’t forget to check out my fellow cookie bakers this holiday season. Claire of The Barefoot Kitchen, Courtney of Coco Cooks, and Judy of No Fear Entertaining who are all returning this year, and Michelle of Big Black Dog, Di of Di’s Kitchen Notebook, Renee of Flamingo Musings, and Tiffany of The Nesting Project who will be joining us this year. A special nod goes to Andrea of Andrea’s Recipes who started the group last year, but cannot join in on the craziness this year.
Grinch Sandwich Cookies
One of my favorite movies and (books) is Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas. There’s something about Dr Seuss and his way with words that just leaves me in awe of all of his stores.
Every year since before I can remember I’ve been tooning into the TV to watch the cartoon How the Grinch Stole Christmas.
Now I get to watch one of the greatest Christmas moves with my kids…and they love it too!
I was pondering to make sandwich cookies for #Christmascookies week and that very night the Grinch came on. It was during my favorite part that I realized I was turning these cutout cookies into hearts,
And what happened then…?
Well… in Who-ville they say
That the Grinch’s small heart
Grew three sizes that day!
I used a recipe for pistachio cookies because I love pistachios. I’ve had a love of pistachios for as long as I’ve been loving The Grinch.
Pistachio ice cream, pudding, the nuts themselves, you name it, I love it!
You can easily make these cookies with sugar cookie dough and they’d be just as cute.
Get the kids involved too! My kids love to use cookie cutters and help me cut out the shapes. Yes, sometimes they don’t always look like the shape, but it’s the fun of being in the kitchen that counts, right?
My advice to you on these Grinch Sandwich Cookies is to roll them thin. You are sandwiching them together so if you roll them too thick, you’ll be left with large sandwich cookies.
For the filling, I took the lazy road and used store-bought vanilla marshmallow frosting which is absolutely delicious and a total time saver. Again, you could use a homemade icing, totally up to you.
I hope your love of The Grinch movie inspires you to make these cookies and share them with the one you love. ♥
Almond bark is neither almond nor bark, but it is lazy baking magic
There are two types of bakers: the ones who want to impress, and the ones who want to delight. There’s hefty overlap in the Venn diagram of what will taste amazing and what will elicit awed gasps from a crowd, but generally, New York Times cookie recipes cater to a different audience than, say, ones from the back of a Craisins bag . Neither party is untalented or persnickety or correct their respective goalposts are just a field apart.
The name “almond bark” is, like so much else about the product, an oddity completely devoid of almonds, it’s only called that because of the end product that first gained it popularity—covering nuts. Its more accurate names are less appetizing: confectionary coating, candy coating, and according to Wikipedia , a “chocolate-like confection.” There are no doubt legal complications to calling this product chocolate (or almond), but it sure fits the bill for my purposes. It has vegetable fats rather than cocoa butter, so you especially can’t call the white variety “white chocolate,” but I’ve been doing so my whole life and haven’t been arrested yet.
The miracle of this product is that you can melt it without tempering chocolate. No double-boiler method or slow, patient, constant-stirring techniques required. You just stick that whole damn brick into the microwave if you want. You don’t even have to cover it with a paper towel. It won’t scorch or bubble up or explode. Two minutes on high heat, a couple stirs with a rubber spatula, and you’re ready to “bake.”
“Baking” with almond bark requires no stoves, no ovens. An infinitude of recipes spiral outward from the possibilities of this chemical brick of confectionery joy. Glossy finishes, a quick set time, and easy compatibility with gel food colorings are further merits. Useful year-round, but especially at the holidays, I present to you just a few treasured family secrets that have delighted family and friends for years on end. James Beard might not see the appeal, but little kids receiving holiday cellophane-wrapped bundles of “chocolate”-covered mini pretzels certainly do, and I know whom I aim to please.
Dark Chocolate Dipped Almond Shortbread Cookies
This is a simple but delicious cookie recipe that is both indulgent and full of flavor!
Keyword almond shortbread cookies
- 1 cup unsalted butter softened (We used Cabot Creamery)
- ¾ cup powdered sugar (We used Dixie Crystals)
- 1 teaspoon almond bakery emulsion (We used LorAnn's)
- 2 Cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 6 ounces dark chocolate baking chunks (or chips)
Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and the powdered sugar. Add the almond bakery emulsion and mix for an additional 20 seconds.
With the mixer on low, add in the flour and the salt. Mix until incorporated, but do not overmix. You should have a crumbly dough.
Take the dough and form it into a log, approximately 2 inches in diameter. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap.
Place in the refrigerator to chill for an hour (or longer).
Once the dough is chilled and firm, and you are ready to bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 350°F.
Slice the log of dough into approximately 20 cookies (slices should be approximately 1/4 inch apart). Lay slices on a parchment covered baking sheet, making sure to leave room between the cookies.
Slide the cookies into the oven to bake for approximately 12-15 minutes (start keeping a close eye on the cookies around 11 minutes, as you don't want them to burn). Remove the cookies when they are becoming golden at the edges. Allow cookies to cool.
While the cookies are cooling, melt the chocolate. Place the chocolate into a small saucepan. Place the small saucepan into a larger pan of water (to form a makeshift double boiler). Melt the chocolate over medium low heat, stirring frequently. (Alternatively, you can melt the chocolate in the microwave, on 50% power, using 30 second increments and stirring frequently until melted.)
Make sure the chocolate is in a vessel that is deep enough to dip the cookie and reach half of the way up.
When the cookies are cooled enough to hold, deep each one halfway into the melted chocolate. Allow excess chocolate to drip back and then place on a baking sheet covered with clean parchment paper.
Place the tray of cookies into the refrigerator for 5 minutes to set the chocolate. Serve and enjoy!
If you have leftovers (not in my house!), place in an airtight container in a cool place.
These can be stored in a air tight container for up to a week (but let me tell you, they will not last that long)!
I’ve mentioned it here before, but my Opa used to work in a bakery. Even after he retired, he continued baking for us at home – especially for the holidays. Now that he’s gone, I’ve taken over his baking. I absolutely love his recipes.
These are crisp around the edges and soft and chewy in the middle – so good. This is one of my favorites for cookie exchanges – since it’s recipe from the bakery it makes a lot.
I recommend using a food scale to measure the ingredients for the best results.
Opa’s Chocolate Chip Cookies
(a family recipe)
Makes 9 dozen
12 oz. brown sugar
12 oz. sugar
1 tsp. salt
3/4 lb. shortening
1/4 lb. butter
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 lbs. flour
3 Tbsp. baking powder
1 lb. semi-sweet chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
In a stand mixer, cream together the sugars, salt, shortening, and butter until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Mix in the vanilla.
In another bowl, sift together the flour and baking powder. Add the dry ingredients into the wet and mix until well combined. Fold in the chocolate chips.
Drop by rounded tablespoons onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Bake for 8-9 minutes, until lightly browned around the edges. Cool for five minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool completely.
Can’t get enough cookies? For #ChristmasCookies Week, I’m linking up with lots of other bloggers sharing awesome recipes. You can find today’s batch of goodies below!
Snowflake Cookies #ChristmasCookies
Welcome to Day 3 of Christmas Cookie Week! Have you found a few new recipes to try yet? I sure have!
To me, one of the classic Christmas cookies is the sugar cookie. Whether a plain round cookie sprinkled with sparkling sugar, or cut into shapes and decorated, these are a must-have at Christmas.
I have quite a large collection of cookie cutters, everything from the usual snowflakes, hearts and pumpkins to lesser-used shapes like the Liberty Bell and a seashell. I had visions of starting a cookie decorating business after graduating from culinary school.
Then I learned about cottage laws which govern in-home baking businesses, and I decided to nix that idea. I love dogs too much to go without owning one (or two) in order to sell decorated cookies.
The thing I love about these snowflake cookies is that you can make them as simple or complex as you like, so they are great for beginners to practice on. You can even practice on a sheet of parchment paper before you commit your designs to a cookie.
Royal icing does dry quickly, so it is essential to cover the bowl with damp paper towel when you're not actively stirring it. If you put your piping bag full of royal icing down to answer a phone call or grab a quick snack, wrap the tip of your piping bag in damp paper towel so it won't dry out and clog the piping tip.
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A Chef&rsquos Kitchen: Classes with professional chefs, private setting. Unless otherwise noted, classes are from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., cost is $55, registration required 206-406-1517, e-mail [email protected]
&ldquoA Variety of Flowers &mdash Building a Cake on Cake Decorating Basics,&rdquo hands-on, 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Nov. 7, $65.
Tantalizing tapas with chef Ernesto Pino, 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Nov. 8, $65.
Holiday pies, hands-on with Brenda Bush, 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Nov. 13, $47.
Art Institute of Seattle: 2600 Alaskan Way, Seattle 206-239-2363, www.ais.edu.
&ldquoFour to Six&rdquo Washington wine tasting series with Dieter Schafer: 4 to 6 p.m. Nov. 9, Art Institute&rsquos Portfolio restaurant $12 per person, per session hors d&rsquooeuvres, information about various wines and more reservations required.
Free book signing events with food editor Braiden Rex-Johnson:
3 to 5 p.m. Nov. 10, Willows Lodge 14582 NE 145th St., Woodinville, also with chef Bobby Moore 425-424-3900.
Noon to 2 p.m. Nov. 11, Columbia Winery, 14030 NE 145th St., Woodinville 425-482-7348.
Camano Island chili and chowder cookoff: 3 to 7 p.m. Nov. 10, Camano Senior and Community Center, 606 Arrowhead Road, Camano Island 10 tastes for $10 for tasters, free admission for spectators, features live music and more www.camanoisland.org.
Culinary Arts Society: Meetings 6:30 p.m. second Wednesdays, Camano Community Center, 606 Arrowhead Road, Camano Island 360-387-0222. Membership $10 per year members must enter 3 dishes a year.
J. Matheson Kitchen &Gourmet: 2609 Colby Ave., Everett 425-258-4589, www.jmatheson.com. Registration required.
Children&rsquos hands-on &ldquoRatatouille&rdquo-based cooking with Susan Russell, 5:30 to 7 p.m. Nov. 8, $32.50. Class is for ages 6 to 10 menu includes Collete&rsquos crepes, croque monsieur, Gusteau&rsquos ratatouille and chocolate rats.
Pizza with pizzazz with Paula Erickson, noon to 1 p.m. Nov. 14, $25. Menu: margherita pizza artichoke and goat cheese pizza.
The Kitchen Door: 3964 Little Dirt Road, Langley 360-730-2322, www.thekitchendoor.net.
Pie for breakfast, lunch and dinner, 1 to 5 p.m. Nov. 10, Deer Lagoon Grange Hall, 5147 Bayview Road, Langley $95 call to reserve a space, as class is limited to eight students. Menu: Never-fail pie crust, caramelized onion pie, berry pie with lattice crust, classic meat turnovers and apple pie.
Pacific Culinary Studio: 6915 Evergreen Way, Everett 425-231-9239, www.pacificculinarystudio.com.
The divine Thai feast with Pranee Halvorsen, 6:30 to 9 p.m. Nov. 7, $45. Menu: Rice paper rolls, grilled lemongrass pork, chicken mango salad, yellow curry fried rice with prawns and a Thai herb-infused martini.
Cooking with winter fruits with Conni Brownell of The Charmed Radish, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Nov. 8, $40. Menu: Flank steak with sumac and pomegranate reduction, braised pork chops with carmelized shallots and apples, lemony lentil soup with cilantro, goat cheese and roasted fig tarts, spiced red wine with brandy and citrus.
Wine and food pairing, Thanksgiving through New Year&rsquos Day with Dewey McCandlis of Pacific Wine and Kitchen and Leslie Lightner of Pacific Culinary Studio, 5 to 7 p.m. Nov. 10, $45. Menu: Crostini with creamy gorgonzola spread and tart apples, butternut squash soup, maple brined turkey, roast prime rib with red wine reduction sauce, basil oven-roasted vegetables and citrus pound cake with raspberry sauce.
How a chef bakes holiday cookies with Hope Sandler, 6:30 to 9 p.m. Nov. 14, $40. Menu: Lemon-lavender shortbread, chocolate cloud cookies, Linzer cookies, chocolate and almond-dipped sandwich cookies and giant chocolate-toffee cookies.
Pita King Bakery: 2210 37th St., Everett 425-258-4040, www.pitakingbakery.com. Connie Eden leads traditional Lebanese cooking classes, with recipes, demonstrations and hands-on experience. Call to register.
Resident Cheesemonger: 405 Main St., Edmonds 425-640-8949 www.residentcheesemonger.com. Cheese tastings, noon to 4 p.m. Saturdays. Cheese classes, 6 to 7:30 p.m. third Thursdays, free.
Sagecliff&rsquos Savor the Region series: Cave B Inn, SageCliffe Estate Room, 344 Silica Road NW, Quincy www.cavebinn.com.
Festive holiday accompaniments: wine tasting 5 to 5:30 p.m., cooking demonstration 5:30 to 7 p.m., dinner served 7 to 8:30 p.m. Nov. 9, $55 per person plus tax and tip reserve a space at 509-785-2283. Menu: Dungeness crab cake with ginger apple slaw, roasted Berkshire pork loin with Yorkshire pudding, comfiture of cranberries and pears, sweet potatoes with honey walnuts, green tomato preserves and beetroot greens, frozen pumpkin mousse with hazelnut chocolate florentines.
Snohomish Valley Holistic Medicine: 1830 Bickford Ave., Suite 201, Snohomish 360-282-4014, www.snovalleyholistic.com.
&ldquoPower Foods&rdquo class: 6:30 p.m. Nov. 19, $5 advance, $10 at door registration encouraged.
Sweet Basil&rsquos in Edmonds: Reservations required for all classes. Unless otherwise noted, classes take place 7 to 9 p.m. Sweet Basil&rsquos School of Cooking, 5820 156th St. SW, Edmonds 425-743-7438.
The best of Italy, Nov. 7, $42.50. Menu to be determined.
An elegant holiday menu, Nov. 15 and 27 (choose one date), $42.50. Menu: Parmesan black pepper crackers with warmed figs, artichoke-blue cheese bisque, beef Wellington with port wine sauce and sauteed green beans, dessert is chocolate-amaretto semifreddo.