Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Chocolate Spice Cookies (Basler Brunsli)

"Once in a lifetime one should be allowed to have as much sweetness as one can possibly want to hold" -Judith Olney

This is the first recipe I am going to share from this past Thanksgiving. These cookies taste of the holiday season. They are chewy and chocolaty with a hint of cinnamon and clove.

I stumbled upon this recipe in one of my many cookbooks. This recipe comes from Great Cookies by Carol Walter. The title of the book speaks for itself. Every cookie I have made from this book are exactly that...GREAT cookies. The official name for these cookies are Basler Brunsli, a specialty of northern Switzerland (aka. Swiss Brownies)

I decided to make these because the recipe is naturally gluten free. It calls for almond flour (which is available in most grocery stores). I would definitely suggest making these cookies for any holiday party, especially if you love the flavors of autumn as much as I do.
***These cookies can also be made without the spices.
***Kirschwasser is a cherry brandy and is found in any liquor store

Chocolate Spice Cookies
Makes 4 dozen
Photo of chocolate spice cookies (maple leaf shape) and Almond Macaroons


8 oz fine-quality bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate (Ghiradelli or Lindt), Coarsly chopped
6 Tbsp strained Dutch Process Cocoa Powder
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp cloves
2 large egg whites
3/4 cup super fine sugar
3 tbsp Kitschwasser
3/4 pound almond flour (3 cups lightly packed and leveled)
1/4 sugar-for rolling
2 tbsp coarse ground sugar or sparkling sugar for garnish

1. In a bowl of a food processor fitted with steel blade, combine chopped chocolate, cocoa powder and spices. Process for 45-60 seconds, until chocolate is very finely ground, stopping occasionally to scrape bottom and edges. Remove chocolate mixture and set aside.

2. In a large bowl of an electric mixer fitted with whip attachment, beat egg whites on medium speed until soft peaks form. Increase speed to medium-high and add sugar one tablespoon at a time, taking about 2 minutes to form meringue. Transfer meringue to a large bowl.

3. Using a large rubber spatula or wooden spoon, fold in the Kirschwasser, then fold in chocolate mixtures and finally fold in almond flour.

4. Shape dough into 2 rectangles, wrap each with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Shaping Dough:

5. Dab the corners of cookie sheets with butter and line with parchment paper.

6. Lightly coat a flat surface with 2 tbsp granulated sugar. Working with one rectangle at a time, place on surface and turn 2-3 times to coat with sugar. Roll out dough to 3/8 inch thickness. Cut with cookie cutter, no larger than 2 inches and place then on a piece of wax paper. Sprinkle with sparkling sugar.

7. Place cookies on the pans and let air dry for 1 hour before baking.

Bake the cookies:

8. Position the oven racks in the upper and lower thirds. Heat oven to 250 degrees F. Bake cookies 9-10 minutes, or until just set on top. To ensure even browning, toward the end of the cook time rotate pans top to bottom and front to back. DO NOT OVER BAKE. The cookies will firm as they cool. Let rest on the pan for 2-3 minutes, then transfer to cooking racks.

To store cookies: Store in air tight container layered between wax paper for up to 3 weeks. These cookies may be frozen.

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