Luisa's Mandelhörnchen (Chocolate-Dipped Almond Crescents)
- 7 ounces (200 grams) almond paste
- ¼ cup (50 grams) granulated natural cane sugar
- 1 egg white
- 1 cup (85 grams) sliced almonds
- 3 ½ ounces (100 grams) bittersweet chocolate, melted (see notes below)
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Break the almond paste into small bits. Add them to a deep bowl, along with the sugar and egg white. Beat, using an electric mixer, until creamy and well mixed.
- Spread the almonds into a shallow bowl.
- Dip your fingers in a bit of water (keeping a bowl nearby is helpful), and divide the dough into 12 even pieces. Form each one into a 4-inch log. Roll them in the almonds, then shape into a half moon, and place on the prepared pad.
- Bake 12 to 14 minutes, until they puff up a bit, and the almonds turn lightly golden.
- Once cooled, dip the bottoms, and tips of the cookies (if desired), into the melted chocolate. Place them back on the baking sheet upside down (with the chocolate side facing up). Set aside in a cool, dry place until the chocolate is thoroughly hardened, anywhere from a few hours to overnight.
- Double Boiler Method for melting chocolate
- Fill a medium pot one-third of the way up with water. Set it over high heat, and cover with metal or glass bowl that fits securely on top of the pot. Bring the water to a boil. Once the water comes to a boil, add the chocolate, and reduce the heat to a simmer. Give the chocolate a stir with a spatula every now and again once it begins to melt. Remove from the heat, and let cool a few minutes before using.
- Microwave Method for melting chocolate
- Add the chocolate to a glass, microwave-safe bowl. Cook on high, in short bursts of 30 seconds, until the chocolate begins to melt. Give it a stir, and continue microwaving in short bursts until completely melted. Keep a careful eye, as it goes from melted to burnt quite quickly.