Prep time: 1:00 Overall time: 3:00
24 servings scale / convert
1 cup whole blanched almonds
1-3/4 cups unbleached flour, unsifted
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (preferably Dutch processed)
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
2 tsp. instant espresso or coffee powder
4 oz. bittersweet or semisweet chocolate
3 lg. eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. almond extract
1 cup granulated sugar
Preheat oven to 350°F. Toast almonds in shallow pan for 12 minutes. Cool. Reduce heat to 300°F. Adjust racks to divide oven in thirds. Line two cookie sheets with foil, shiny side up. Sift flour, cocoa, baking soda, salt and espresso powder together. With heavy knife shred chocolate finely. Place chocolate in food processor with metal blade. Add 1/2 cup of sifted ingredients and process for 20-30 seconds until chocolate is fine.
In large bowl of electric mixer beat eggs and extracts just to mix. On low speed add chocolate mixture, remaining sifted ingredients, and sugar. Beat to mix. Will be very stiff. Stir in almonds. Turn dough onto floured surface. Form mound. Cut in half. Flour each half and form into sausage shape 12 inches long. Place sausage shape on baking sheet diagonally. Bake two sheets at a time for 50 minutes, reversing sheets top to bottom and front to back once to ensure even baking.
Remove sheets from oven. Let cool 10 minutes. Transfer baked strips to cutting board. With serrated knife, cut strips on sharp angle into cookies 1/2-inch wide. Carefully place cookies, cut side up, on cookie sheets and bake again at 300°F for 40 minutes, turning them upside down after 15 or 20 minutes, until cookies are completely dry and crisp. Turn off heat, open oven door and let them cool in oven. Store in airtight cannisters.
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