Didn't everyone grow up eating chocolate cookies rolled in confectioners' sugar? I certainly remember them from my childhood. But the ones my mother made were nothing like these. This chocolate cookie earned the top tier of the old, French cooling rack on my holiday table.
CHOCOLATE ALMOND COOKIES adapted from the Chez Panisse Café Cookbook by Alice Waters
• 12 ounces bittersweet chocolate • 1/4 cup unsalted butter • 1/4 cup brandy • 1 cup ground almonds • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons cake flour • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder • 1/4 teaspoon salt • 3 eggs • 1/2 cup sugar, plus extra for rolling • Powdered sugar
1. Melt chocolate and butter together. Stir in brandy. 2. In another bowl, mix together almonds, cake flour, baking powder and salt. 3. In a third bowl, beat the eggs together with 1/2 cup sugar until just mixed. Fold in flour mixture. Chill dough. 4. When ready to bake, roll dough into 1-inch balls. Roll them first in sugar, then in powdered sugar. Bake on a parchment-paper-lined baking sheet at 325˚F until the tops are cracked, about 10 minutes. When cool, the cookies should be slightly chewy. Do Not Overbake!