Basler Brunsli (Chocolate-Almond Spice Cookies)

Specialty cookie from northern Switzerland, these cookies are very addictive.  It’s sweet (like most cookies), crisp and chewy at the same time, and a great flavor combination of ground almond, chocolate and spices!!   You have to love this recipe with short ingredient list and relative ease (although, you do need to air dry these cookies for 3 hours!! which is a must!!).   The recipe came from Saveur’s December 2010 issue.

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Yields anywhere from 2 dozen to 4 dozen cookies, depending on the size of your cookie cutter:

8 oz. whole blanched almonds
1 1/2 cups sugar, plus more for rolling
6 oz. semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
2 egg whites, lightly beaten

Finely grind almonds and sugar in a food processor. Add chocolate; pulse until finely ground. Add cinnamon, cloves, and egg whites; pulse to make a dough.

Sprinkle a large piece of parchment paper with sugar; transfer dough to paper. Lay another piece of paper over dough; roll dough to 1/8″ thickness. Cut out cookies with star-shaped cutters; transfer to parchment paper—lined baking sheets, spacing cookies 1″ apart. Reroll scraps and repeat.
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Let dough dry for 3 hours. Heat oven to 300°. Bake until cookies are slightly puffed, 12–15 minutes. Let cool.

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**It is absolutely important to dry this for full 3 hours.  If you don’t, the base of the cookies will spread out when you bake them.  Someone suggested freezing them for an hour, but if you have limited freezer space, plan ahead –  let the cookies dry for 3 hours while you do something else. 

I really felt like someone had to tie my wrists together behind my back and duct tape my mouth.  This is very addictive!!!  It’s so good, but I have to remind myself : eat in moderation!!

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