Basler brunsli (chocolate-almond spice cookies)

basler brunsli cookie with ingredientsBarry discovered these cookies — he was listening to KUOW radio in Seattle, and the description was so mouth-watering that he had to try the recipe. When you see them, they just look like dull little brown-and-white things. But the cinnamon and clove flavor is completely unexpected with the chocolate, the the texture is out of this world.

There’s no flour at all — good for people with wheat allergies. That doesn’t make them healthy. They’re loaded with sugar, you know.

Here’s the original recipe, from the radio: Greg Atkinson’s Basler Brunsli cookies

Following is my version:

1-1/2 cups almonds, whole or sliced, but not blanched
1-1/2 cups white sugar
6 oz chocolate chips
1-1/2 t cinnamon
1/2 t cloves, ground
2 large egg whites
1 t vanilla
1/2 cup powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 300 and line a baking sheet or two with a Silpat mat. You can also use parchment paper, but then reduce the baking time by a couple of minutes.

In a food processor, combine almonds and sugar. Pulse until the almonds are roughly ground, then turn it on and grind until the almonds are fine (about 30 seconds).

Add the chocolate chips and spices. Pulse to grind the chocolate until it looks finely chopped and is dry and crumbly. Don’t overprocess it or you’ll get chocolate goo.

Add egg whites and vanilla and pulse until it becomes a stiff dough.

Spread some powdered sugar on a flat surface and roll the cookies out to 1/4-inch thickness. Cut into diamonds or use a small cookie cutter. This doesn’t mind being handled, so re-roll scraps at will.

Bake for about 15-16 minutes. They should be firm on the outside and still moist inside. If you overbake them, they’ll become rocks. If you underbake them, the insides will separate from the outsides. You may have to make them several times to get them right…and eat the rejects, right?

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