These special occasion cookies combine the classic Italian flavors of Marsala, almond and chocolate. They are rich and crunchy and would pair well with a glass of light bodied red wine or tawny port. The Marsala contributes a touch of savory caramel to complement the rich ganache.
2/3 cup plus 1T AP flour
2 T Dutch process unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 T Marsala plus 1.5 T for ganache
1 1/2 cups finely ground blanched almonds, lightly toasted
1/3 cup heavy cream for ganache
5 oz. semi sweet chocolate
1) In a small bowl, whisk together flour and cocoa powder. Set aside. In a large bowl, cream butter on high speed with an electric mixer for 30 seconds. Add sugar and Marsala until incorporated. Add almonds. Beat in flour mixture until just combined. You can chill dough for one hour if it is difficult to handle.
2) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Shape dough into 1 inch balls. On a parchment lined cookie sheet, place balls 2 in. apart. Flatten slightly.
3) Bake for 12-15 minutes or until firm. Cool on wire racks. Prepare ganache while cookies cool.
4) In a small saucepan, bring 1/3 cup heavy cream and 1.5 T of Marsala to a boil. Remove from heat and add 5 oz finely chopped semisweet chocolate. Stir until smooth and glossy. Cool to room temperature.
5) Spread one tsp of ganache on the bottoms of half of the cookies. Press together to make a sandwich.
Makes 28 sandwiches. Store cookies, for up to 3 days, in an airtight container separated by waxed paper in the refrigerator.