Chewy Almond Cookies with Chocolate Ganache

My wonderful aunt gave me the recipe book from the Flour Bakery in Boston, and I decided to try out her almond macarons for Mother’s Day last weekend. If you’ve ever had almond crescents, or almond horns, these have a similar flavor, with a lighter, chewier texture, and my mom loved them (as did I). They were labeled as macarons, but you don’t make meringue with the egg white, although the ingredients are similar to French macarons, but regardless of the name, they’re delicious!

Since this recipe only uses egg whites to make an almond paste, I ended up with three egg yolks, and I made this lemon curd recipe with them! We had some of the lemon curd with scones at Mother’s Day brunch, then I made the rest of the curd into lemon tarts, which were also a hit with my parents, so don’t let those egg yolks go to waste!

If you love almond and chocolate, I would recommend these cookies. I had some almond meal on hand, so I used that instead of blanched almonds recommended by the recipe, and I did approximately a half recipe. I’ve been using my scale for many recipes, since I find that it’s faster, more precise, and fewer measuring items to clean! So most of the measurements here are in weight. Here’s the recipe I ended up with!

Chewy Almond Cookies with Chocolate Ganache

Adapted from Flour

Makes 18 sandwich cookies, or 36 rounds

Cookies

260g almond meal, divided

270g granulated sugar

1/2 tsp salt

3 egg whites

1 1/2 tsp almond extract

Chocolate Ganache

4 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped (I use the Trader Joe’s pound plus dark chocolate bar)

1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350˚F and line baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper.

Reserve about 1 cup of the almond meal, and place the rest in the bowl of a food processor. Add the sugar and salt and pulse to combine. Add the egg whites and almond extract and process until well combined into a paste. This is your almond paste.

Transfer the almond paste to a bowl and add the reserved almond meal. Stir to combine.

Drop small rounds of dough (I used a small cookie scoop, about 2 tsp) onto the prepared baking sheets. Use slightly damp hands (to prevent sticking) to shape the rounds into slightly flattened balls of dough, about 2 inches apart on the baking sheets.

Bake for 16-18 minutes, until lightly golden brown around the edges. Allow to cool a couple minutes on the baking sheets, then transfer to racks to cool completely.

While the cookies are baking and cooling, you can prepare the ganache. Heat the heavy cream in the microwave until bubbles start to form around the edges of the measuring cup, but the cream is not boiling, about 1 1/2 min in the microwave. I recommend doing this in 30 second bursts and keeping an eye on it to make sure the cream doesn’t start boiling. You can also do this on a stovetop, and heat the cream until it is simmering with small bubbles around the edges of the pot.

Pour the hot cream over the chopped chocolate and stir until smooth and silky. Allow to cool to a piping consistency. You can put it in the fridge for about an hour to speed up the cooling process.

Once the cookies and the ganache have cooled, place the ganache in a piping bag (or a plastic bag with a corner cut off) and pipe dollops of the ganache into the center of one cookie, then top with a second cookie and gently push down until the ganache reaches the sides of each cookie. Repeat until all the cookie rounds have been used, then sit back and admire your lovely cookies!

Enjoy!

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