For some reason, January passed in a blink of the eye. It's now nearing the end of the month and we're heading into Chinese New Year! Gosh, where did the first month of 2012 go? I really wonder, hmmm...
This year, I received a big Bengawan Solo hamper plus loads of CNY goodies including Kueh Bangkit, Bak Kwa, Famous Amos Cookies, Danish Cookies etc. I reckon there was no need for me to make any, plus I didn't have much time. Hence this was the only thing I made - Almond Cocoa Nib Sticks.
I made these twice before, once very recently for Christmas Favours, and they've received very good reviews and feedback! Even mum, who's usually very critical of my bakes, commented that these were really good. Hence, I decided to make a double batch of this for the new year!
I simply love the raw crunchy texture of cocoa nibs with its full and deep cocoa flavour. It's like eating chocolate, but without the sweetness! Baked to a crispy crunch, these are especially good with a cup of tea or coffee!
A friend of mine gave me a sachet of mint hot chocolate during Christmas, hence I can't resist having them with these Almond Cocoa Nib Sticks. They were absolutely delicious :).
Before I leave you the recipe, just wanna wish all of you a very Happy Chinese New Year! May you PROSPER BEYOND MEASURE! Yippee!
Almond Cocoa Nib Sticks
adapted from Bittersweet by Alice Medrich
3/4 cup ground almonds
1 cup + 2 tbsp plain flour
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
6 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into chunks
2 tbsp water
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp almond extract
1/4 cup cocoa nibs
1. Combine ground almonds, flour, sugar and salt in a food processor and pulse a few times. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture looks like a mass of bread crumbs.
2. Combine the water, vanilla and almond extract, drizzle them into the bowl and pulse just until the dough looks damp. Add the cocoa nibs and pulse until evenly dispersed. The dough will not form a smooth cohesive mass, it will be crumbly but it will stick together when you press it.
3. Turn out the dough onto a sheet of foil and form it into a 6 by 9 inch rectangle that is 1/2 inch thick. Fold the foil over the dough and press firmly with your hands to compress it, then wrap it airtight. Slide a cookie sheet under it and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
4. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees Celsius. Slice the dough into 1/2 cm thick slices and place them on the lined cookie sheet at least 1 inch apart.
5. Bake for 12-14 minutes until the cookies are golden.