White Chocolate Dipped Almond Fingers

Recipe by Tami Ganeles Weiser; photo by Johnisha Levi Yield:  18 cookies
Prep Time:  40 minutes Cook Time:  15 minutes

White Chocolate Dipped Almond Fingers

These elegant almond paste-filled cookies, an adaptation of Molly O'Neill's kalasstanger, are just the right accompaniment for afternoon tea.

Ingredients

8 ounces (2 sticks or 227 grams) unsalted butter

⅓ cup (65 grams) granulated sugar

1 large egg yolk

2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest, divided

1 teaspoon vanilla paste or extract

2 cups (155 grams) all-purpose flour

1 (7-ounce) tube almond paste

1 large egg white

14 ounces high quality white chocolate, such as Green & Black’s or Guittard

¾ cup sliced almonds, for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar. On low speed, mix in the egg yolk, 1 teaspoon lemon zest, and the vanilla paste. Add the flour in two batches, mixing on low speed until just combined. Pat the dough into a flattened square shape, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  2. Grate the almond paste on the medium holes of a box grater, then mix it with the egg white and 1 teaspoon lemon zest; refrigerate.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350 °F. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone mat. On a lightly floured surface, roll the chilled dough out until very thin (about ⅛-inch) and use a pizza cutter to cut  into 3-inch squares. Gently re-work the scraps to roll a second time.
  4. Spread the almond-paste over the squares. Roll up the squares up as if you were rolling up a carpet and place on baking sheets.
  5. Bake until the cookies are lightly brown, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before proceeding.
  6. In a double boiler, or on 50% microwave power in a heatproof bowl, melt the white chocolate. Dip half of each finger in the melted chocolate, and roll in sliced almonds. Set on wire racks to dry.

Kitchen Tips

  • We advise against too much re-rolling of the dough scraps. Rolling the dough out more than twice, with the added factor of using flour to avoid sticking, may make for a tough cookie.
  • If the dough gets soft as you are rolling it out to cut into squares, pop it into the refrigerator for a few minutes to chill. You can break the recipe up into stages, cutting the squares in advance, and then refrigerating or freezing them until you are ready to use.
  • Have trouble getting your dough rectangular or square? Don’t just roll vertically and horizontally. A good tip to achieving a rectangular or square-shaped dough is to intermittently roll diagonally.
  • If the dough squares are too cold when you are rolling it around the almond filling, they will crack. Warm them up a bit with the heat from your hand. You also don’t want the dough too warm/soft for this stage. Again, you can pop it back in the refrigerator at any point.
  • If you prefer to dip the fingers in dark chocolate, swap orange zest for lemon zest in the dough and filling.
  • In a hurry? Set the chocolate more quickly by briefly refrigerating the fingers after dipping them.

Notes by Pastry Specialist & Assistant Editor, Johnisha Levi

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