- two 40×35 cm baking trays,
- lined with non stick baking paper
Dough (makes about 46) :
- 100 g dark chocolate
- 125 g soft butter
- 125 g caster sugar
- 1 egg (L)
- 200 g plain flour
- 1 level teaspoon baking powder
- pinch of ground cinnamon
- pinch of ground cloves
- pinch of salt
- 25 g coarsely chopped blanched almonds
These cookies I found in Choice recipes, a lovely booklet I received as a present from a friend. It is an advertising brochure from the beginning of the twentieth century for the firm Walter Baker, the oldest chocolate factory of America, in Massachusetts
founded in 1780. The name still garantees dark chocolate of high quality. The booklet offers besides recipes by Miss Parloa and other ‘noted teachers’, regional pastry from all states. No doubt very authentic. For we know that the cookies of the Dutch colonists in the 17th century were such a succes in the New World that the word koekje itself still lives on. And to this day many of the triljons of cookies, that are consumed in the States yearly, are baked at home. Of course chocolate, one of the blessings of the discovery of the continent, plays an important part as a flavouring. This too has something to do with the Netherlands for it was Coenraad Johannes van Houten who invented dutching, which expanded the use of chocolate to more than a beverage.
The booklet shows us eventually how good it is to eat chocolate. A hundred years old man was riding a horse as a youngster because he lived on only chocolate and some broth … an orphan baby shot up as cabbage thanks to chocolate milk .. According to Brillat Savarin, the French gourmet, chocolate dissolved in water was even allowed during Lent… A miraculous delicacy, and yet no miracle, because chocolate has more than 800 taste components!
- Melt the chocolate in a double saucepan (bain-marie), leave to cool to luke warm.
- Put butter and sugar in bowl. Beat until very light and fluffy with the whisks of a hand mixer. Add the egg, beat well.
- Sift flour, baking powder, spices and salt onto the mixture and stir. Then stir in the lukewarm chocolate and the chopped almonds. Mix thoroughly with the dough hooks of the hand mixer.
- Using your hands roll the dough into small-walnut-sized balls (12 g). Arrange on the baking trays. Then with the forefinger press small dents in the midddle of the balls. Chill for half an hour.
- Preheat the oven to 160˚C/325˚F/gas 3. Bake 15-20 minutes on the middle shelf of the preheated oven. Leave to cool on a rack. Keep in an airtight box.