Do you ever wonder what it would be like if you could actually see what was going on in people’s heads? I am sure someone created a television show on that at some point, but think about it – so often people convince themselves of something that really deep down inside, they don’t believe for a minute. Transparency is a very powerful tool. It just goes to show you, that everything is more complex than it seems. Just when you think you understand exactly what it going on, think twice. It’s what makes life extremely interesting. It is the people that can navigate well through ambiguity that deserve all the credit in the end.
The same can be said about food – what if you always knew exactly what you were eating – not just that you were eating a chocolate cookie, but exactly what ingredients were. Sure, we are living in a world where that is happening more and more with packaged foods – but when you are in a restaurant, there are still unknowns. And that is exactly what creates the “secret ingredient”. I have never been a fan of the “secret ingredient” or even not sharing recipes. Sharing a recipe allows other people to join in on the happiness that you felt when eating that special dish.
But there is another side to all of this – if you knew that you didn’t like something, and then you knew it was in the food you were eating, you would never have the opportunity to try it in a different way. For example, my daughter doesn’t like nuts – but in these cookies, they are so finely ground that she loves them! It wasn’t until after she ate one did she ask if there were nuts in them – when I said yes, she already decided she liked them, so we were good.
This recipe from my mother not only has ground nuts, but also Muscat – a desert wine. You would never know, but again, it just gives these cookies a hint of flavor that you would not get otherwise. They are absolutely delicious. So – maybe not knowing exactly what is going on is a good thing – it opens your mind to new things…a perfect way to learn and grow.
- 1-1/2 lbs. Ghirardelli bittersweet chocolate
- 4 oz.. sweet butter
- 3/4 cup Muscat
- 6 eggs
- 1-1/4 cups sugar
- 2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1-1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 cups slivered almonds
- granulated sugar for rolling
- confectioners sugar for rolling
Melt together butter and chocolate over double boiler. Meanwhile, mix eggs, Muscat, and sugar. Grind almonds with flour and baking powder in food processor. Whip the egg mixture into the chocolate mixture, then fold in the almond mixture. Chill the dough until firm. Overnight works best (can freeze). Scoop out about 1 oz. of dough and roll into a ball with the palms of your hands. Roll the ball, first in granulated sugar, then in confectionery sugar. Place on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Place 1-2 inches apart to allow for spreading. DO NOT OVERBAKE. Bake at 350 for 13 minutes. Freezes well after baking. Batter can keep in refrigerator for a week as well. Makes 90 small cookies. For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, please click here: Chocolate Muscat Cookies