White Chocolate Dipped Almond Fingers
Recipe by Tami Ganeles Weiser; photo by Johnisha Levi
Prep Time: 40 minutes Cook Time: 15 minutes
These elegant almond paste-filled cookies, an adaptation of Molly O'Neill's kalasstanger, are just the right accompaniment for afternoon tea.
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
¾ cup sliced almonds, for garnish
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Bake until the cookies are lightly brown, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before proceeding.
- 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.
- 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