Monday, May 30, 2011

Almond Roca Cookies

Growing up, my dad worked very close to the Brown and Haley factory, where they make Almond Roca. Almond Roca is a classic candy for this area and I’ve been gifted it and given it many times. Around the holidays, Dad would sometimes stop and pick up candy at the factory store. I don’t remember him bring home Almond Roca, usually it was creams. I’m an ok fan of creams, but I really like Almond Roca. When I saw this recipe that replicated the flavors of Almond Roca in a cookie, I wanted to give it a try.

My one complaint with Almond Roca is that it can be too hard. And the chocolate/almond coating always breaks of when you take a bite. At first I expected these to be more chocolaty, but this just has a chocolate drizzle. The toffee flavor comes from toffee chips in the dough and then you roll the cookies in ground almonds for baking. If I had to envision Almond Roca as a cookie, I don’t think this is what would first come to mind. But it really works. These cookies are awesome.

The most frustrating part of these cookies is that they take forever to bake! 20 minutes at 300 degrees! I don’t know if a higher temperature would do something to the toffee bits or scorch the almonds, but I resisted the urge to raise the oven temperature. These spread out and are a thin, chewy cookie. I was having trouble getting my chocolate to cooperate, so some of the cookies were plain and some had chocolate. Either way, they are excellent. They have a great buttery, melt-in-your-mouth quality that makes them highly addictive. The chocolate makes them like Almond Roca, but feel free to omit it for a wonderful almond toffee cookie!

2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
1 package Toffee bits (1-1/4 cup)
1 cup coarsely ground almonds
3 ounces milk chocolate

In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and salt; set aside. In a large mixer bowl, cream the butter, brown sugar and sugar, beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the flour mixture and once combined, stir in the toffee chips. Do not over mix. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line two baking sheets with silicone baking mats.

Shape dough into walnut sized balls, and then roll in the ground almonds. Place on the prepared cookie sheets. Bake for 20-22 minutes, until the cookies look set. Cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack. Once the cookies are cool, melt the chocolate in a double boiler and drizzle over the cookies.

Recipe from Veggie by Season

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