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Crunchy chocolate-dipped orange and almond fingers

September 8, 2010

These are so so simple, with the only fiddly thing being the chocolate dipping – but it’s so much fun! If you can’t be bothered, the cookies are lovely just on their own. Thin and crunchy, almost crispy (not at all “hard”), and with a slight hint of orange. The almond doesn’t really feature much – it contributes more to the crispy/crunchy texture than the flavour, but you can always up the almond component with a few drops of almond essence/extract.

These are what my friend Ro referred to as a “standard cookie” with half a cup of flour less, some ground almonds, and orange zest smooshed into sugar to bring out the orange oils. As if it doesn’t get any better than that (Ro and I are orange-almond fiends), these are then dipped into very dark chocolate (70% Lindt in our case!). These are not soft, thick and chewy, like the kind of cookies I usually like, but they are a welcome change, and the orange and almond complements this texture well.

These were piped to get the long finger like shape, but of course you can just make circular cookies and brush them with melted chocolate (these could look rather artistic actually).

…they would also not stick to any racks!

Still…they are quite cute as fingers!

Chocolate dipped orange and almond fingers

makes about 2 trays

  • 125  unsalted* butter, softened
  • 3/4c white sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 70g ground almonds
  • 1 1/2 c plain flour
  • 150g dark chocolate
  • about 1/2 tsp orange extract (optional)

* we used salted, but I think I’d use unsalted in future and add a pinch of salt, as it would have been nicer to let the orange zest flavour shine a little more.

Preheat oven to 160C (320F), arranging a rack in the middle.

Rub zest and sugar together with your fingers. Beat butter and zesty sugar until lightened and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla until smoothish, then fold in ground almonds, then flour, until there are no pockets of flour left. Pipe 5cm (2″) lines onto a greased baking tray with a 1-1.2cm diameter piping tip onto the baking tray, leaving an inch between the lines**. Or, instead of piping, pop Tablespoonfuls of batter onto greased trays. Bake about 15-20 minutes or until the cookies are golden brown around the edges and little dry air holes appear on the surface. Cool on a rack completely.

While cooling the second rack, melt chocolate (with the orange essence) over very low heat in a small saucepan, stirring constantly, until mixture is smooth. Scrape into a 3/4c capacity warmed ramekin and dip each finger in. Or, if you made round cookies, brush chocolate on with a pastry brush (just one line, starting 3/4 or 1/2 way up the cookie). Return to rack to let chocolate set (do not let chocolate dipped bits touch). Serve with a nice shot of espresso (or in my case, plunger coffee after standing for 6 hours straight).

** If they expand into eachother, they are easy enough to separate with a knife.

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