This is a traditional Christmas favourite in our household. I make them in conjunction with Eggnog Shorties, which use up the egg yolks and also provide an excellent contrast in flavour and texture. These are not the most beautiful of cookies; they tend to come out mottled by the icing sugar used to roll them out, and to puff somewhat unevenly. So, just close your eyes as you munch.
- 2 cups ground blanched almonds
- 1½ cups icing sugar
- 4 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 2½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
- 3 ounces unsweetened chocolate
- ½ teaspoon almond extract
- 2 large egg whites
- Preheat the oven to 325°F.
- Line a couple of cookie trays with parchment paper.
- In a food processor, process the almonds with the sugar until finely ground.
- Add the cocoa, spices and broken up chocolate and process again, until the chocolate is finely ground.
- Process in the egg whites and the extract until it blends and forms a mass.
- Remove the dough, let sit for about 5 minutes.
- Roll out on a board sprinkled with icing sugar.
- Cut with cookie cutters and place on the trays.
- Bake in the centre of the oven for 10 to 12 minutes until almost firm and slightly puffed; they should not be browned.
- Let cool then peel from the paper.