Orange-scented almond cookies with dark chocolate
- scant 3/4 cup (70 g) almond flour
- 2 1/4 cups (280 g) all-purpose flour, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
- 2 sticks (230 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract (optional)
- 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
- 1 large egg
- 3.5 oz (100 g) dark chocolate
- 1 cup (100 g) shelled pistachios, chopped
- 1 cup (70 g) candied orange rind, chopped
Makes about 40 cookies
Stir together the almond and all-purpose flours with the salt in a medium bowl.
In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until fluffy and lightened in color, about 3 minutes.
Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Add the egg, almond extract, and grated orange zest, return the mixer to medium speed, and beat until well-combined, about 1 minute. Scrape down the sides and bottom of bowl.
Add the flour mixture and mix on low speed until just incorporated, about 30 seconds.
Remove the bowl from the mixer and give the dough a few stirs with a rubber spatula, scraping the bottom of the bowl, to ensure that all of the ingredients are evenly incorporated. Divide the dough into 2 equal portions, press into a disk shape, wrap each disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.
Remove 1 disk of dough from the refrigerator and unwrap. Sandwich the dough between two pieces of parchment paper and roll out to 1/4-inch thick.
Use a 2-inch round (or desired shape) cookie-cutter to cut as many rounds from the dough as possible. Arrange the cookies on a parchment-lined cookie sheet (choose one that fits in your freezer), and transfer to the freezer for 30 minutes before baking. Repeat with the remaining disk of dough.
Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Transfer the baking sheets to the hot oven and cook until lightly golden, about 9-11 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Meanwhile, melt the chocolate: coarsely chop chocolate and melt in the top of a double boiler or in the microwave. If you use a microwave, melt in 30-second bursts, stopping to stir after every 30 seconds. When the cookies have cooled, drizzle decoratively with melted chocolate and immediately decorate with pieces of pistachio and candied orange. Press the pieces gently into the chocolate to adhere.
Let chocolate cool until it hardens completely before serving or storing.