In the weekend, C and I celebrated our paper wedding anniversary so I really wanted to start this post with some inspiring quote or fun fact about how awesome paper is. But alas, all the quotes out there seem to be about the fragility and tearablity of paper. Even the myth that it is impossible to fold a piece of paper more than 8 times was not worth the paper it was written on as that has been thoroughly debunked.
So to paper over the fact that a first wedding anniversary is represented by flimsy old paper, let's concentrate on it also being the eighth anniversary of our first date! Yay eight years! Hold up...eight years?! When did we get so old?! Oh my, how time flies when you're having fun.
Paper puns aside, it was actually really lovely reminiscing about our special day a whole year ago. One's mind boggles at how a whole year has manage to pass us by when it feels like it was only yesterday that we were walking down that aisle, surrounded by the smiling faces of all of our favourite people, making vows to love and cherish each other as long as we both shall live.
One of the many happy memories of the day was getting to nibble on the delicious treats after the ceremony made by our amazing friends and family. In particular, the Chocolate Dipped Amaretti Cookies made my darling friend Lisa and her lovely momma Sharon were total crowd pleasers.
While I didn't actually get a chance to eat one at our ceremony. I did get my hands on one afterwards. Then two, three...five in a row! They were that delicious.
Crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside. Airy, delicate, nutty, and utterly moorish, it took all my willpower not to finish off the lot!
Lis and Sharon were kind enough to share the recipe with me (thanks you lovelies!). And since they were so darn perfect on the day, I wanted to them to be just like the ones they made so I hounded poor old Lisa for any tips and tricks, right down to the minute details of the process. I even made sure I got the same brand chocolate so they would be EXACTLY the same. Hmmm OCD much?
Turns out the cookies are made in a really similar way to french macarons but just not as fiddly. In fact, they were deceptively easy to make: whip up some egg whites and sugar, fold in powdered almonds, pipe, bake and dip in chocolate.
Unfortunately, I couldn't help myself and changed the recipe a little, adding vanilla essence instead of almond essence which made my cookies a bit on the sweet side for my liking. Damn you inner recipe rebel!
Mind you, they were still delicious and the sweetness didn't stop me scoffing an obscene number of these puppies. Next time though I'm going to try sticking with the almond essence as per the recipe to see if the sweetness is tempered.
Right after I check with Lisa as to what they used, of course. Yes I am a creepy recipe stalker. I can't help it.
Chocolate dipped amaretti cookies
Adapted from a recipe in Delicious by Sophie Gray and Aaron McLean.
This recipe makes a huge batch so feel free to divide in half or by three to get a normal batch.
makes ~ 144 cookies (6 dozen)
6 egg whites
pinch of cream of tartar
600g caster sugar (Mine were a little sweet so I reckon next time this could be reduced to say 500g)
300g ground almonds
1 - 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract or 3 tsp almond extract (I used 2 teaspoons vanilla and I reckon I'll try a little less next time)
1/4 tsp salt
450g - 500g dark chocolate, chopped finely (450g was just enough for me to coat all my cookies)
1. Preheat oven to 180oC. Line 2 cookie sheets with baking paper.
2. In a super clean bowl (or using a stand mixer) whisk egg whites and cream of tartar until soft droopy peaks, then gradually add half the caster sugar slowly whisking continuously.
3. Combine the rest of the sugar with the salt and ground almonds squeezing out any lumps. Fold almond/sugar mixture and essence into the egg whites.
4. Using an icing bag (with a round nozzle or no nozzle) pipe small circles (around 2 cm diameter) on to your prepared baking sheets. Press the tips down with a wet finger if you like (not really necessary but makes them look putty) Bake for 10-12 minutes until golden brown.
5. Transfer the cookies while still on the baking paper to a wire rack to cool completely. When the cookies are completely cooled, melt dark chocolate over a double boiler or in the microwave (in 30 second bursts). Gently lift the cookies off the paper and dip half into the dark chocolate and place back on the baking paper to harden.