Posts in Cookies and Candies
Dark Chocolate Almond and Date Clusters
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These clusters of almonds and a sweet date filling are all wrapped up in a blanket of rich dark chocolate. They’re rustic little treats, unfussy in form and with a bit of whimsy added by a topping of ground almonds, crushed garden rose petals, and pink salt (optional, of course). As far as chocolates go, these give a nod to healthful eating as the filling is made only of nuts and fruit. Vegan and paleo diets alike approve, but don’t think these are any less dessert worthy as any other chocolate confection; a caramel-like filling with the crunch of almonds to boot make these the very best kind of irresistible.

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Dark Chocolate Almond and Date Clusters

makes about twenty clusters

  • 12 medjool dates, pitted

  • 3 tablespoons salted almond butter

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips

  • About 1 cup whole roasted almonds, five or six for each chocolate

  • Toppings or decorations (I ground up some slivered almonds, dried rose petals from my garden, and alaea salt together with a mortar and pestle and sprinkled a pinch over each chocolate)

In a food processor, blend the dates, almond butter, and vanilla together until a smooth ball of date paste forms. On a parchment lined baking sheet, divide the date paste into twenty pieces approximately equal in size. Once divided, roll the pieces into balls and place them within even distance of one another.

Press into each ball of date paste five to six whole almonds, flattening the date paste and forming a spherical cluster. Do this for each piece, then place the baking sheet into the freezer for twenty minutes.

When the clusters are chilled and firm, melt the chocolate either in a double boiler or a microwave, stirring every so often to ensure even melting. With a fork, place each cluster into the melted chocolate, coating entirely, then tap off any excess. Place back onto the baking sheet and immediately sprinkle with whatever toppings you have on hand. Do this for each piece, then place them back into the freezer until completely hardened. Keep in the freezer or refrigerator until serving.

Cranberry and Rosemary Butter Cookies
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Merry, merry Christmas to you all! The stockings are hung, the tree is ornamented, and a spirit of festive anticipation fills the air as our winter holiday is only a few days away now. Holiday baking is also in full swing; cookies, cakes, croissants, and sweet rolls will all have been pulled out of the oven before the week passes. I think this time of year is an especially lovely time to whip up new confectionary delights to try out on loved one’s tastebuds while also keeping true to beloved traditions. These cookies do just that for me and my family members. The butter cookies are based off of my great-grandmother’s recipe, a traditional treat I’ve had every year since childhood. This year, I added tart cranberries and herbaceous rosemary, festive colors of ruby and evergreen flecking the dough. Besides the appropriate hues, these additions add an unconventional flavor that reminds me of the scent of pine mingling with fruity tartness. The cookies aren’t overly sweet, a welcome departure in the midst of other, overly saccharine desserts, with the most deliciously soft texture. Place them stacked up on one another atop a little dish in the center of the kitchen or holiday table; they’ll be snatched up quickly and are the perfect accompaniment to hot afternoon coffee.

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Cranberry and Rosemary Butter Cookies

  • 1 cup butter, room temperature

  • 1/4 cup sugar

  • 2 cups all purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries, finely chopped

  • 1 tablespoon rosemary, chopped

Cream the butter and sugar. Add the vanilla and salt. Fold in the flour until fully incorporated.

Bring the dough into a ball, and on a floured surface roll the dough into an approximately 1 1/2 inch log. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for two to four hours. This will help firm the dough for slicing.

After the dough has chilled, reheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Slice the dough into approximately 1/2 inch disks and bake for 15 minutes or until the tops of the cookies are just barely dry - do not overbake.


Dark Rye Cookies with Chocolate and Sea Salt
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I've never been the biggest fan of cookies. There, I said it. You may be gasping if you are a cookie lover and simultaneously wondering why I'd say this at the beginning of a cookie recipe but the point is this: these cookies have converted me. They are by no means the sort of spongey, saccharine chocolate chip cookie that lacks any complexity of flavor. These are buttery and rich and not overly sugared with a depth and heartiness about them, finished off with a sprinkling of salt that makes them quite addictive.

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In an effort to make a unique sort of "chocolate chip"-esque cookie, I experimented with different flours including rye, spelt, and whole wheat. I would sometimes mix it with a bit of all purpose flour, sometimes not. I must add that the recipe testing process was nothing short of scrumptious! In the end, using only dark rye flour became my favorite above the rest. I've found that other rye cookie recipes only use a little bit of rye and mostly all purpose flour, but I think using only dark rye flour creates the most delightfully rich tasting cookie. Additionally, brown sugar instead of white sugar is used here, contributing another facet of richness.

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I prefer to make this recipe with large chunks of dark chocolate rather than chocolate chips, but you can absolutely use the latter if it's what you have on hand. I typically will purchase a large bar of dark baking chocolate, usually 72% cacao, and chop up a few pieces to throw in the mixing bowl. This results in wonderfully massive melted puddles of chocolate oozing out of the cookies (I have Thalia and Sarah to thank for their delicious inspiration of pooled chocolate).

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I enjoy these all the more with a cup of hot chamomile tea or a few sips of strong coffee. They would make insanely delicious ice cream sandwiches as well. Happy cookie baking!

Sincerely, Adelle


Dark Rye Cookies witH Chocolate and Sea Salt

Makes 13 cookies

  • 1 1/2 cup dark rye flour

  • 3/4 cup brown sugar

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

  • 1 egg

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda

  • Dark chocolate (70% cacao or greater), chopped roughly into large chunks amounting to 1/2 cup (alternatively, 1/2 cup chocolate chips)

  • Flakey sea salt, for sprinkling

Preheat oven at 350 degrees.

Whisk together the melted butter, brown sugar, egg and vanilla. Add the salt, baking soda, and flour and stir until combined. Gently fold in the chunks of chocolate.

On two parchment lined baking sheets, place small spoonfuls of the dough (the size is up to you, I usually end up with 12 to 13 cookies with this recipe).

Bake for 12 to 15 minutes. Remove the cookie from the oven before they have set, as they will continue to cook after they are taken out. The key here is not to have an overdone cookie, so I lean towards the 12 minute mark.

Remove the cookies and the parchment from the baking sheets and place on a cooking rack. Sprinkle with the sea salt while they are still warm. Once they have completely cooled, they will be easy to remove from the parchment.

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Salted Peanut and Puffed Quinoa Chocolates with Date Caramel
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I started making different forms of date caramel chocolates last summer and, I must say, each variation has been quite delicious. A classic and very well-loved version of my recipe is made with peanut butter. While perusing the grocery aisles a few weeks back, I stumbled upon puffed quinoa and thought it would add the perfect twist to an already delicious dessert.

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Puffed quinoa is very similar to puffed rice, so if puffed rice is more easily found at your local market, it would make a lovely substitute. It adds a bit of crunch and a contrast of texture when mixed with peanut butter atop spoonfuls of date caramel, all wrapped in silky dark chocolate.

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When stored in the freezer, this treat almost takes on a frozen chocolate and ice cream bar sort of consistency, and so my favorite way to serve and eat them is quite cold, left on the countertop to soften only slightly for a minute or two.

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Because the filling has no added sugar and relies only on medjool dates for sweetness, this dessert presents itself in perhaps a more healthful way than other confections. Covered with rich dark chocolate and containing a bit of crunch, these chocolates offer a satisfying richness and make a perfectly decadent little treat.

Sincerely, Adelle

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Salted Peanut and Puffed Quinoa Chocolates with Date Caramel

Makes 10 chocolates

  • Approximately 152 grams / 5.2 oz dark chocolate (at least 70% cacao)

  • 10 medjool dates, pitted

  • 1/4 cup and 1 tablespoon salted peanut butter

  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted

  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

  • 1/4 cup puffed quinoa (can substitute puffed rice)

  • A pinch of salt for the caramel filling

  • Maldon salt, puffed quinoa, and a handful of chopped peanuts for topping

Place the pitted medjool dates, 1 tablespoon of the peanut butter, coconut oil, vanilla, and a pinch of salt in a food processor or blender and pulse a few times or until combined and the dates are fully blended. Separately, combine the 1/4 cup peanut butter and puffed quinoa in a small mixing bowl. I generally use a 1:1 ratio with these two ingredients.

Melt the chocolate by simmering a pot of water under a glass bowl or in the microwave, stirring and heating until fully melted.

On a parchment lined baking sheet, dollop a spoonful of melted chocolate until there ten dollops. Spoon about 1 to 2 tablespoons of date caramel onto each dollop, then top each with about 1/2 tablespoon amounts of the peanut butter and puffed quinoa mixture, as shown below.

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Cover each with a spoonful or two of melted chocolate until the date caramel and peanut butter mixture is fully covered. Sprinkle with a bit of flaky sea salt, puffed quinoa, and chopped almonds. Place the baking sheet with the chocolates in the freezer for about 20 minutes or so to firm up the chocolate, and they're ready to go! They keep best in the fridge or freezer as they tend to get a little 'melty' if left at room temperature. I personally like to keep them in the freezer as this makes for sort of a chocolate-ice cream-bar texture, leaving them at room temperature for a couple minutes before eating to soften them just slightly.

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