Jan 17, 2013

Chocolate Almond Cake Cookies

One of my favourite ice cream flavours since I was a kid has been anything with dark chocolate and roasted nuts, preferably almonds. My mom used to find it weird and always suggested fruity flavours like strawberry, mango or plain old vanilla but I would gravitate towards more complex ice cream compositions. Back then there was the Moet's ice cream parlour in GK and of course good 'ol Nirula's, they still do a pretty neat job of the Jamoca Almond Fudge and their vanilla is to die for, try it in the Nutty Buddy and you will know what I mean, creamy, buttery vanilla! So even today, though I am a huge fan of Bourbon and even Milano, I love chocolate cookies with nuts and I prefer them soft and gooey not crispy or crunchy. Which is why we love cake cookies, they are just the right combination of a hearty cake and a delicate cookie. We  of course make 'em monstrous so that each one is a darned dessert in itself, in fact if you warm one in the oven and top it with ice cream (coffee is my recommendation!), it is a bona fide and decadent dessert! Another favourite snack combo for me is salted almonds and bits of dark chocolate, which has influenced this recipe greatly. I have been making cake cookies ever since Ally was a baby and even today, when she wants 'not dippy' (Parle G are her favourite as dippy biscuits!) cookies, she asks for a cake cookie. I make chocolate chip, vanilla, peanut butter with real salted peanuts, rum 'n' raisin and even apple and walnut!

These particular ones are yum because they stay soft even after 3 days in a box. They are excellent by themselves but even better if you're sipping an unsweetened coffee with 'em! I carry them for a long drive and pick up a cappuccino on the way just to add to the experience.

80 gms cocoa
200 gms flour
200 gms brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
1 egg
150 ml milk
1/2 tsp baking soda
120 gms butter
1/2 cup roasted nuts, I used almonds, you can use walnuts if you like.

Sift the cocoa and flour together along with the baking soda. Use a hand mixer to blend together the butter, egg and milk, add the vanilla essence and then the flour mix in batches. Mix well, the consistency should be of a thick cake batter, sticky even, you will need two spoons to make dollop of this batter on to a baking sheet. Use a spatula to fold in the nuts, I always use lightly salted roasted nuts, love the sweet-salt-bitter from the cocoa balance. For peanuts you can use the Haldiram's salted peanuts. Pre-heat the oven on 220 C, line a baking tray with butter paper, use an ice cream scoop or two spoons to drop even sized dollops the size of say a Ferrero Rocher, about 2" apart and bake at 200 C for 6-8 minutes. These bake fast, it is hard to tell by the colour if they are done since they are dark brown anyway, better way is to see if they are well risen and cracking on top. They will be soft to the touch and till they cool they will be pretty delicate, so don't make them too big. Remove from butter paper while warm not hot. 

I topped these with a teaspoonful of chocolate ganache, the kind that sets and dropped a pretty little roasted almond right on top. Enjoy!