Hard to believe that it is holiday baking time once again. Christmas sneaks up on me every year but I am always happy when it arrives as it means a return to many of our family food traditions. I took a few days again this year to do some holiday baking with my mom. We had lots of fun. We made a couple of old favourites and also some chocolate sparkle cookies which come in and out of the rotation depending on the year.
I thought I would share a few photos of our goodies this year and the recipe for chocolate sparkle cookies in hopes of inspiring you to haul out that family recipe that everyone loves and bake up a batch. Homemade treats are the perfect gift for anyone on your list. Who doesn’t love receiving a box of beautifully handcrafted cookies, crisps or a jar of homemade jam?
The chocolate sparkle cookie recipe is a Thomas Haas recipe, one that my dad clipped from the newspaper many years ago and passed along to us bakers. Everything Thomas makes is outstanding, worth every bit of butter, chocolate, nuts and sugar. I have heard that this recipe might not include all the trade secrets but that is beside the point. The point is these cookies are delicious. So chocolatety and soft in the middle with a little crunch on the outside.
So put the kettle on, pull out that favourite recipe and get baking. May you partake in the preparation and sharing of many delicious meals with loved ones this holiday season.
- ½ pound bittersweet chocolate, chopped (I used a good quality 85%)
- 3 Tbsp butter, softened
- 2 eggs
- 1 Tbsp honey
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar, plus more for rolling
- ¾ cup ground almonds
- 2 tsp cocoa powder
- Pinch of salt
- Icing sugar for garnish (optional)
- Gently melt the chocolate in the top of a double boiler. Cut butter into small pieces and mix into the heated chocolate until melted.
- Beat the eggs with an electric mixer, gradually adding the sugar and honey until light and the mixture falls in thick, smooth ribbons from the beaters (7 - 10 minutes). Fold into the chocolate-butter mixture.
- Add the cocoa powder and salt to the ground almonds and mix, gently add to the chocolate mixture. Cover and refrigerate over-night or until quite firm (4 - 5 hours).
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Form dough into 1-inch balls. Working quickly, roll the ball in granulated sugar. Place on a baking sheet about 2 inches apart.
- Bake at 325F for about 12 minutes, the centres should still be moist but not wet. Cool slightly. Dust lightly with icing sugar if you like.