Monday, December 19, 2011


I spent the week end getting treats ready to give away for Christmas, I am done with the the candy part, I still have muffins today and cookies over the next few days so that they are not stale by Christmas. 

I am also going back to work, getting ready to teach in January, which is why I will probably have less time to spend posting but I promise, even if I have a back log of recipes I will share them with you! Right now I have 6 recipes to share. 

What I am sharing with you today is not really a candy but it is by far my favorite treat I made. It is a childhood recipe that comes from my mom's family, I use to make it for Christmas as a child which is why as soon as I smelled the rose water it was finally Christmas for me! I love those sensory experiences, it is so amazing how your brain makes connections like that.

The original recipe calls for 25g of bitter almonds but as they contain cyanide, they might be hard to come by, I know that in Germany you have to go to a pharmacy counter to buy them. You can easily replace it by flavoring, and you can find it online, mine came from Germany... do not skip it though, it perfectly balances out  with the sweetness. So does the cocoa powder.
I do apologize for the metric system but this is a German recipe I treasure deeply as it came from at least my gran ma, if not further. You can easily size it down as it is a felt recipe, just equal amount of almonds and sugar.
- 500g whole almonds, blanched and peeled
- 500g powdered sugar
- 4 to 6 tbsp rose water
- 1/8 to 1/4 tsp bitter almond extract (to taste)
- unsweetened cocoa powder for rolling (Dutch processed preferably)

 Blanche the almonds by pouring them in some boiling water for a minute. Drain and place in an ice bath to stop the cooking process, and allow you to handle them. They should squeeze right out of their skin
 Grate the almonds in a food processor, the smallest possible. Then equip your food processor with a metal blade and pulse into a meal (more or less coarse depending on your taste, I like it on fine side).
Place into a large bowl, add the sugar and mix (with your hands or a spoon).
Add the rose water, incorporating it thoroughly, you will knead it as a dough, 4 was enough for me. I am warning you that it takes a while to incorporate so don't be too fast to add more rose water.
Incorporate the bitter almond extract, add more to taste.
Form small balls of dough and roll into the cocoa powder.

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