Chocolate Nut Biscuits
This recipe is adapted from Claire Ptak's The Violet Bakery Cookbook. It is a wonderful cookbook containing sweets and savories, many of which are made with whole-grain and less commonly used flours. Many, like this one, are also gluten-free. I also love that her recipes use weights as measurements, as this produces better baked goods. These cookies are more like macaroons in shape and texture.
100 g. (3 1/2 oz) dark chocolate
125 g. (1 c. plus 1 T.) Almond Meal (I use Trader Joe's)
125 g. (4 1/2 oz) coarsely chopped pecans
150 g. (3/4 c. plus 2 T) dark brown sugar
1 T. cocoa powder
2 egg whites
1 1/2 t. vanilla extract
50 g. (1 1/2 oz.) pecans sliced crosswise (optional)
Makes around 3 dozen.
Preheat the oven to 355 degrees F/180 C. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
Microwave chocolate until it melts. Start with one minute, stir, and add more time in shorter increments if necessary. In the alternative, melt in the top of a double boiler over barely simmering water. Cool slightly.
Put the nuts, sugar and cocoa into a food processor and process until fine. Add melted chocolate, the egg whites and vanilla, and mix well.
Plop heaping tablespoons of the dough onto the lined cookie sheet. The dough is sticky, but you can shape them with wet hands or fingertips. They don't spread much, but leave around 2 inches in between each one.
If you like, top each cookie with a pecan slice pressed gently into the middle.
Bake for 15-20 minutes, until set and puffed, but still chewy inside. Store in an airtight container. They keep well.
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