I was haphazardly flipping through the tv guide section in one of those free, weekly magazines, picking out shows that I’d watch if I had a tv when I chanced upon this title “The pie queen.”
It was an interview/short article on Wanda Beaver of Wanda’s Pie in the Sky. In addition to sharing her humble beginnings, she has also shared her recipe for her Chocolate Almond Kisses. :D You can bet I saved that page!
Chocolate Almond Kisses (courtesy of pastry chef Wanda Beaver)
8 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1¼ cup ground almonds
2 large eggs, at room temp
¾ cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
¼ tsp almond extract
½ cup icing sugar, sifted
1. In a double boiler, melt chocolate and butter, stirring until smooth.
2. Remove from heat. Stir in almonds.
3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk eggs together, sugar, vanilla and almond extract until pale and thick, 2 min.
4. Fold in chcolate mixture until combined.
5. Cover with plastic wrap. Chill in fridge for at least 2 hours.
6. Preheat oven to 350oF. Line 2 baking trays with parchment paper.
7. Form dough into 1-inch balls. Roll balls in icing sugar.
8. Place on trays 2-inches apart. Bake on middle rack until puffed, cracked and dry at edges, 10-12 min.
9. Cool completely. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
The cookies sound easy enough to bake. I didn’t have ground almonds so I put whole ones into the food processor. Not as fine a ground as I wanted but it’s better than nothing. Similar story with the chocolate…I substituted milk chocolate for semi-sweet.
Okay, so I’ve got my double boiler set up: a small saucepan of boiling water (1/3 full is ample). Melt the butter. Melt the chocolate. Yum.
Once it all melted, I took the bowl off the pan and heat; then mixed in the almonds.
Egg + sugar whisked until pale and thick.
Extract time! There’s the clear almond extract, then the vanilla on the right.
Huge change in the dough as I added the chocolate mixture to the egg mixture. It really makes sense now to sufficiently chill the dough as it’s still in liquid form—meaning unworkable.
I returned to the dough the next morning. After getting my fingers all sticky trying to roll balls of the dough in the icing sugar, I realized it would be so much easier to use chopsticks! WIN.
On the left, the balls of dough on the silpat, awaiting the oven to be sufficiently heated. :) And on the right, fresh from the oven! It’s important to spread them 2-inches apart since the dough spreads out as it bakes.
They’re now cooled and ready to eat! :D The cookies came out very thin (which I don’t think should be happening…haha) and the icing sugar didn’t form a solid coating like I thought it would.
The Chocolate Almond Kisses still tasted good though considering the substitutions I made. The thin outside layer is crispy but the rest of the cookie is moist and very tender. Had I used actual “ground almonds,” I believe the texture of the cookie would’ve turned out very differently. Lesson learned. I think I’d prefer trying the real deal though. D
3.5 out of 5 NOMs