Today Almond Chocolate Crackle Cookies
These chocolate morsels are light and crispy with a hint of almond. Make ahead, and then store in airtight containers. Perfect for the cookie-exchange table or as an addition to a platter of gift giving goodies.
10 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
11/2 cups flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
11/3 cups light brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons almond extract
1/3 cup whole milk
1 cup powdered sugar plus 2 cups powdered sugar in which to roll the cookies
Place the chocolate in a metal or glass bowl and melt over (not in) a pot of simmering water (to form a double boiler). Set aside to cool.
In another small bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and almond extract; beat until combined. Add the melted chocolate and the dry ingredients alternately with the milk. Mix on low speed until well combined. Divide dough into quarters; wrap in plastic wrap and chill until firm, about 2 hours.
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpat. On a work surface dusted with powdered sugar, roll each portion of dough into a log 16 inches long and 1 inch wide. Wrap each log in plastic wrap and transfer to baking sheets. Chill again for 30 minutes.
Place 2 cups of powdered sugar in a shallow bowl. On a work surface, cut each log of dough into 1-inch pieces, roll into a ball, and then roll each piece in powdered sugar. Place the cookies on prepared baking sheets, 2 inches apart. Bake on middle rack of a preheated 350-degree-F oven for 12 to 15 minutes, until cookies have flattened slightly and they are starting to crackle. Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool completely. Sprinkle with more powdered sugar, if desired, just before serving.
Makes about 5 dozen cookies .
(* Photographs by Kirsten Shultz, from “Small Parties” by Marguerite Marceau Henderson. Reprinted with permission of Gibbs Smith)