MANDELHÖRNCHEN (Chocolate-Dipped Almond Crescents)

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Post  Tue, Jun 11 2019, 8:47 pm
Easy to make - for almond paste/marzipan devotees.


Chocolate-Dipped Almond Crescents

Excerpt From: Luisa Weiss. “Classic German Baking.” Apple Books.


These gluten-free chocolate-dipped almond crescents are a beloved after-school snack in Germany. The cookie itself is chewy, like a macaroon, but gets a pleasing crunch from the sliced almonds embedded in the dough. The ends of Mandelhörnchen are usually dipped in chocolate. When developing the recipe, I realized that I preferred crescents that had a bit of chocolate in each bite, so I dip the bottom of each crescent in chocolate, instead of just the ends. Bakery-made specimens are often quite large, but I prefer to make a slightly smaller cookie, keeping the crescents no larger than palm-size.

In Germany, the ubiquity of Mandelhörnchen at every corner bakery means that hardly anyone makes them at home, but they are very simple to throw together. If you are a fan of almond paste, you will love these.

For maximum authenticity, Mandelhörnchen should be made with blanched sliced almonds.

7 ounces/200g almond paste
¼ cup/50g granulated sugar
1 egg white
1 cup/85g blanched sliced almonds
3½ ounces/100g bittersweet chocolate (minimum 50% cacao), chopped

1 Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2 Cut or tear the almond paste into small pieces or grate it on a box grater’s largest holes and place in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the flat beater attachment. Add the sugar and egg white. Beat together until creamy and uniform, 1 to 2 minutes.

3 Place the sliced almonds in a wide, shallow bowl. Place a bowl of cold water nearby. Dip your hands in the cold water, and then take a piece (about one-tenth) of the almond dough and roll out evenly to 4½ inches/11cm long. Place the log in the bowl of sliced almonds and turn to coat evenly all over. Place the log on the prepared baking sheet and form it into a crescent. Repeat with the remaining dough and almonds.

4 Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake for 15 minutes, or until the almonds are toasted and the cookie dough is golden brown and gently puffed. Place the baking sheet on a rack to cool.

5 When the crescents are completely cool, melt the chopped chocolate in a double boiler set over simmering water or in a microwave in short bursts, stirring after every few bursts. Brush the bottom of each cookie thinly with some of the melted chocolate and then dip the ends of each crescent about ¾ inch/2cm into the melted chocolate if you wish. Place the cookies on the lined baking sheet, chocolate-side down, to set the chocolate, about 1 hour.

6 When the chocolate is fully set, transfer the cookies to an airtight container, where they will keep for up to 1 week.


Almond Paste


A lot of recipes in German baking depend on almond paste, which in Germany is known as Marzipanrohmasse. To make your own almond paste, which you can use immediately or store in the refrigerator, all you need is a good food processor. A warning: To get the paste as smooth as possible, with no hint of grittiness, you will need to process the mixture for at least 10 minutes, if not more, in total.

1½ cups/220g raw almonds
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons/225g granulated sugar
2 teaspoons almond extract
1 teaspoon rum
2 to 4 teaspoons water

1 First, blanch the almonds by placing them in a bowl and covering them with boiling water. Let the almonds sit for 5 to 10 minutes. Their skins will have loosened considerably, so that you can simply push the nut meats out of the skins. Place the skinned nuts on a clean dry dishcloth and rub to dry.

2 Place the sugar in the bowl of a food processor and process until powdery. Add the dried, peeled almonds and process until a paste starts to form. Add the almond extract and rum and continue to process. Stop the motor and stir when necessary.

3 Continue to process, adding a teaspoon of water at a time, until you have a very smooth paste. You may need anywhere from 2 to 4 teaspoons of water, depending on how moist your almonds were. When the paste is completely smooth and no longer grainy or granular, scrape it out of the processor and knead into a ball. Place in a plastic bag and refrigerate until ready to use. The almond paste will keep for several weeks in the refrigerator, wrapped tightly.
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Post  Tue, Jun 11 2019, 9:27 pm
This is a keeper! Thanks!
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