This is one of the cookies I plan to make for Deepavali this year. I had made some almond praline a few days back and decided to try to incorporate it into a cookie recipe. And I always like those chocolate-topped almond cookies that are so popular in the Deepavali fairs so I decided to work on that concept.
Dark chocolate chunks and praline were folded through the buttery dough. Topped with a swirl of melted chocolate, I thought these cookies looked good. But funnily enough, the praline gave them a milky scent that I really wasn’t expecting… I liked the overall taste, because it was something different. They tasted like a cross between chocolate chip and milk powder cookies. But my brother didn’t fancy it too much so I decided that for Deepavali, I’ll do away with the praline and just add plain roasted almonds to the dough. Remember to chop the almonds and chocolate very finely because if they are too big, they will form ‘pockets’ in the dough and cause the cookie to sink in places when they bake… which is fine, except that it’s difficult to pipe neat chocolate swirls when the cookie surface is uneven. And a note on the chocolate swirls: I usually just melt plain dark chocolate but Phoon Huat sells this chocolate topping (the brand name eludes me now, but i know it is NOT the Tulip brand. When I visit the store again, I’ll check it out) that sets well at room temperature and tastes quite good. When I’m making 100s of these for Deepavali and am pressed for time, I use the Phoon Huat’s chocolate because it sets faster.
Almond Chocolate Cups
(makes 90 mini cups)
2 oz almond praline or plain roasted almonds, chopped finely
6 0z unsalted butter, softened
4 oz sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup dark chocolate, finely chopped or mini chocolate chips
7 1/2 oz plain flour
melted dark chocolate, for topping
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Place mini paper cases on baking tray.
2. Cream butter with electric beaters for 30 secs. Add sugar and salt and cream on med-high speed for 2 mins.
3. Add vanilla, chopped almonds and chopped chocolate and mix on lowest speed until combined with dough.
4. Add flour and mix on lowest speed until just combined. Roll teaspoonfuls of dough into balls and place in paper cases. Bake at 350F for 13-15 mins until light golden brown.
5. Once cooled completely, drizzle or pipe swirls of melted chocolate onto cookies. You can also coat the entire top of the cookie with chocolate if desired.
6. Let chocolate set before storing the cookies in between layers of greaseproof paper in an air tight container. These cookies taste better after a day or two.
1/2 cup caster sugar
25g salted butter
1/2 cup coarsely chopped almonds
1. In a small non-stick saucepan, place suagr and butter. Melt over med heat, swirling pan occassionally. If neccessary, stir lightly with a wooden spoon. Cook until a dark caramel color.
2. Stir in nuts, take pan off heat and pour onto a Silpat or onto a tray lined with greased aluminum foil. Spread praline with wooden spoon or silicon spatula and let cool completely.
3. Break into shards and store in airtight container. Can be used as cake decoration, chopped and pressed up the sides of frosted cakes or stirred through cookie batter.