This month’s project for Abby Dodge’s virtual Bake Together challenge was chocolate mousse cookies that sound great as-is, so I really wasn’t sure I was going to make any changes. But given these are nicknamed Irene Cookies, after the unwanted visitor that came to see Abby and left a mess after overstaying her visit, I decided I’d need to change something so Irene would stay away. I wanted to keep the chocolate the same, so I just swapped out the vanilla extract for almond extract. I added a marcona almond on top, and sprinkled a bit of fleur de sel to finish them off.
I thought chocolate almond would be nice, and using marcona almonds is a little different – they’re skinless and sautÃ©ed in olive oil before being salted. Adding a little bit more salt seemed natural, a nod to Irene and her salty beginnings. Plus my salty sweets are very popular both at home and at work.
Larry wasn’t overly crazy about the results. I thought they had promise, and my coworkers gobbled them up (no surprise there). I think I made them a little big and will use a smaller scoop if I make them again. I found that chilling the dough overnight made it easier to scoop and probably resulted in a slightly puffier cookie.
Salty Chocolate Almond Cookies
Adapted from: Abby Dodge
Makes about 4 dozen cookies.
1 1/3 cup (6 ounces) all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
4 ounces (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup (1 1/2 ounces) natural, unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted if lumpy
3 large eggs
3/4 teaspoon almond extract
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted
6 ounces marcona almonds
Fleur de sel
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Whisk until well blended. In a large bowl, combine the butter, sugar and cocoa powder. Using an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat on medium speed until well blended, about 4 minutes. Scrape down the bowl and the beater. Add the eggs, one at a time mixing until blended after each addition. Add the almond extract along with the last egg.
Continue mixing on medium until well blended, about 1 minute. Add the cooled, melted chocolate and mix until just blended, about 30 seconds. Add the flour mixture and mix on low speed until the mixture is well blended, about 1 minute. Cover the batter with plastic wrap and chill at least 4 hours, or overnight.
Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350Â°F. Line 2 or more cookie sheets with parchment or non-stick baking liners. Using a 2 tablespoon mini ice-cream scoop, shape the dough into balls and arrange about 1 1/2 inches apart on the prepared cookie sheets. Press one almond (flat side down) onto the top of each cookie and sprinkle with a small amount of fleur de sel.
Bake, one sheet at a time, until the cookies are puffed and tops are cracked and look dry, about 9 to 12 minutes. Let the cookies sit for 5 minutes then transfer them to a rack to cool completely. Cover and keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days or freeze up to 1 month.
- Salty Chocolate Almond Cookies (adapted from Abby Dodge)