Doctor's Review: Medicine on the Move

October 18, 2021

© Ryan Szulc

Sparkle cookies.

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Sparkle cookies

This recipe is from renowned Vancouver pastry chef Thomas Haas. The cookies are great in holiday gift baskets.

1 lb. (450 g) bittersweet chocolate, chopped
½ c. (125 ml) butter, at room temperature
1 tsp. (5 ml) vanilla extract
1 tsp. (5 ml) pure orange extract
4 eggs
1 c. (250 ml) sugar, plus more for rolling
2 c. (500 ml) ground almonds
2 tbsp. (30 ml) cocoa powder

Set up a double boiler to melt the chocolate while insulating it from direct, damaging heat by placing a large heatproof bowl over a smaller pot of barely simmering water. Put the chocolate and butter in the bowl, and gently stir until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth and shiny. Stir in the vanilla and orange extracts, then remove the bowl. Toss the eggs and sugar into a large bowl, and beat with an electric mixer on the highest speed until the sugar is smoothly dissolved and the mixture thickens dramatically into smooth ribbons that fall from the beater, no more than 10 minutes. In a separate bowl, whisk together the ground almonds and cocoa powder.

Pour the egg mixture over the chocolate mixture, then sprinkle with the almond mixture. Fold everything together with a rubber spatula until evenly combined. Cover and refrigerate until chilled and firm, several hours or overnight.

Preheat your oven to 325°F (160°C) and turn on your convection fan if you have one. Line a baking sheet or two with parchment paper or a nonstick liner.

Pour a little sugar into a shallow dish. Scoop out tablespoonfuls of the dough and roll them into 1-inch (2.5-cm) balls. Toss the balls in the sugar, evenly coating them. Arrange 1 inch (2.5 cm) apart on the baking sheet. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. They’ll slump a bit and crisp on the outside, but the inside will stay delightfully fudgy. Transfer to racks to cool. Makes about 60 cookies.

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