Chocolate Lovers Unite!

Posted on: May 13, 2015   |   Posted in: Recipes

ChocolateJumbles

“Sharing chocolate is like sharing deep dark secrets.”

~ Mohammed Ali

 

Chocolate and Cookie Lovers Unite! Chocolate-Hazelnut Cookies Recipe

We’re mad for dark, rich chocolate. It seems just about everyone we like is. Chocolate shops and new artisanal chocolate makers have blossomed across the country and around the world to meet this passion. There are clubs, societies, and cookbooks extolling the virtues and complexities of chocolate. The amount of liquor in a chocolate has become a debate, the percentage of cocoa content you crave, a measure of sophistication. Once again it all amounts to adventurously tasting and eventually selecting your own favorites. Your own taste, that’s all that’s important.

We prefer dark chocolate, the darker the better. We generally use dark chocolate in the 62-64 percent range in our cooking, but the percentages can soar to 70, 82 or, if we’re feeling daring, even the 99 percent range. The higher the percentage of cocoa beans, the stronger and more intense the chocolate flavor. Our favorites are Valrhona and Barry Callebaut from Europe, Guuittard from San Francisco, and Rogue from Massachusetts. We also adore the finely crafted chocolates of Jacques Genin, Debauve & Gallais, Michel Cluizel, and Maison du Chocolate in France; Jacques Torres in New York and Michael Recchiutti in San Francisco. And, there are new artisanal chocolatiers popping up everyday, everywhere. Taste them all. Even the mistakes are sweet.

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Bite-Sized Chocolate Jumbles

We’ve made these since the days of The Silver Palate, but for some unknown reason, they never made a cookbook. Yet, they were everyone’s favorite cookie. Perhaps we were of that momentary mind that if we gave the cookie’s secret away, we’d be out of business. These chewy, gooey, chocolate-hazelnut cookies are very special, gluten free, and embarrassingly simple to make!

Makes 30-36

Recipe

2 3/4 cups hazelnuts (skinned) or walnuts
3 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 large egg whites, at room temperature
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spread the nuts on a large-rimmed baking sheet and toast for about 9 minutes until they are golden and fragrant. Let cool slightly and coarsely chop them.
  2. Position two racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and lower temperature to 320°F. Line two large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.
  3. In a large bowl whisk the confectioners’ sugar with the cocoa powder and salt, followed by the chopped nuts. While whisking, add the egg whites and vanilla extract and beat just until the batter is moistened (do not over beat or it will stiffen).
  4. Spoon the batter onto the baking sheets in 1″ evenly spaced mounds and bake for 12-15 minutes until the tops are glossy and lightly cracked; shift the pans from front to back and top to bottom halfway through to ensure even baking. Slide the parchment paper (with the cookies) onto 2 wire racks. Let cookies cool completely and store in an airtight container for up to 3 days, if they all haven’t disappeared.

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