Sunday, January 18, 2009

Basler Brunsli: flourless chocolate spice cookies

In light of the frigid weather that has gripped so much of the country, including here in Georgia where we had a low of 12 degrees the other night, I thought I'd sneak another winter cookie post in here.

Gourmet Magazine has assembled a fantastic compilation of favorite cookies from 1941-2008, the one best cookie recipe from each year of Gourmet's history. You might be a little burned out on cookies (!) but when you're ready to think about cookies again, check out the site! There are lots of cool cookies there, but I was especially intrigued by one recipe, for a spiced flour-less chocolate roll cookie. A.L.E. and I baked these over Christmas, and we had a lot of fun with "winter sky" cookie cutters - snowflakes and star shapes that I'd purchased at the German Christmas markets. The recipe shows these as heart-shaped cookies, and had we cut any that way I would have saved this for a Valentine's post!

I especially like that shooting star shape, which I see everywhere on Christmas decorations in Germany, but not really here in the US.

Cooks' notes:

- We added a pinch each of salt and black pepper

- We used half Trader Joe's almond meal (very finely ground) and half almonds ground in our food processor (not as finely ground).

- We did not add any water. When the mixing got tough, we worked the rest of the dough by hand.

- Scoring the dough with a fork (before cutting the cookies out) was remarkably easy and we thought it looked really cool on the cut cookies.

the verdict:

These had a sandy texture from the almonds, and just a hint of spice notes behind the chocolate flavor. A.L.E. and I liked them. J.D.E. didn't care for them very much, and my husband is allergic to chocolate. We didn't serve these to many people (I saved some for my gluten-free friend) because it took me awhile to photograph them. Luckily, thanks to TWD baking and my freezer, I had plenty of Christmas cookies around.

I really like that these cookies do not have any flour. The cookies got a bit harder with time, but I continued to like their flavor. I'd recommend using finest ground almonds for smoother texture. Also, use your best quality chocolate because it shines in these cookies, and if, hypothetically speaking, you end up eating them all yourself, you'll be glad you used the good stuff.

13 comments:

Di said...

Those look really cool--the ridges are neat. And I'm envious of your snowflake cutters. =)

Audrey said...

These are so pretty! I love your skyscape...and the idea of decorating them with the fork lines. They sound delicious, too. I missed the Gourmet cookie feature so thanks for that, too! I'm not cookied out at all. Our cold freeze is lifting (I think the snow is even changing to rain!) so I hope yours does too!
Audrey

leanne said...

These look great! I love the shooting star as well. I will have to attempt these. The cold has left us in the high 40s. Such a nice break from the cold.

Jessica said...

I saw the gourmet cookie feature but I sort of sped past it because I knew that I'd want to make them but, on the other hand, I am cookied out right now. These look so good though and I'm always interested in a chocolate cookie.

Mary Ann said...

How interesting. These cookies are beautiful but I am intrigued by the flavor and the texture. I am going to have to give these a go. I have had a little break from cookies.

Reeni♥ said...

I saw those cookie favorites and made one of them for Christmas. But I passed right over these without much notice. Their gorgeous! I love the way you scored them beforehand.

Cathy said...

I am troubled by how little time I actually felt truly burned out on cookies. I'm back in the game and ready for them again, and I am totally intrigued by these. I will have to see if these do for flourless cookies what the World Peace Cookies did for eggless cookies. It would be nice to have a good go-to flourless cookie recipe for those times I want to make cookies but am out of flour (although I suppose it's hard to imagine a time that I will be out of flour but have finely ground almond meal). Your snowflakes and stars are super cute, and that scoring looks like it would be tedious -- I'm glad to hear that it's not!

pinkstripes said...

The scoring does look great! I love the cookie cutter shapes too.

dharmagirl said...

lovely! i'm always pleased with *Gourmet's* cookie recipes. i love the scoring--such textural interest!

stay warm:)

MacDuff said...

I love this idea. And those Christmas cookie cutters are just to die for -the story to go along with it is just perfect. You've convinced me to demand a trip to Germany just for them!

Megan said...

What neat cutters you have! I really like the shooting star - too cool.

I looked at the same compilation from Gourmet and marked many of the recipes as keepers. Can't wait to start trying them all!

Anne said...

Those are beautiful! I love the ridges and the interesting ingredients. The shapes are adorable, too!

j said...

Hi there. Do you happen to have a copy of the recipe? I made these last Christmas and they were amazing (and great for my gluten-free Mother) but Gourmet recently took it down from their site. Thanks so much!