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Almond Cherry Bites

November/December 2009

Your rating: None Average: 3.9 (70 votes)

Dried cherries, ground almonds and a drizzle of chocolate make these cookies festive for the holidays.



READER'S COMMENT:
"I must admit that I've never made these...my friend makes them and gives them to me. I love them! One of the previous readers wanted them lighter...I think they're perfect just the way they are. "
Almond Cherry Bites Recipe

Makes: 15 cookies

Active Time:

Total Time:

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup whole almonds
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup coarsely chopped dried cherries
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 tablespoons chocolate chips or finely chopped dark and/or white chocolate, for decoration (optional)

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Grind almonds and sugar in a food processor to desired texture: a coarser texture will give you small almond pieces in the cookie; a fine grind will give great almond flavor without any crunch from the almonds. (Be careful to not overgrind: you will get almond paste.) Transfer the mixture to a large bowl. Add cherries and flour; mix to combine.
  3. Add oil, egg white and vanilla and almond extracts; mix with a wooden spoon until well incorporated.
  4. Shape the dough into walnut-size balls with your hands or a small cookie scoop (about 1 rounded tablespoon each) and place 1 1/2 inches apart on a large, ungreased baking sheet.
  5. Bake until the bottoms are golden (the top will stay white), 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  6. Melt chocolate (see Tip) and drizzle or pipe onto each cooled cookie, if desired. Let stand until the chocolate sets.

Tips & Notes

  • Make Ahead Tip: Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days or freeze without the chocolate drizzle (Step 6) for up to 3 months. Defrost at room temperature before drizzling with chocolate.
  • Kitchen Tips: To melt chocolate, place chocolate in a bowl and microwave on Medium for 45 seconds. Stir; continue microwaving on Medium in 20-second intervals until almost melted, stirring after each interval. Continue stirring until completely melted. Or place in the top of a double boiler over hot, but not boiling, water. Stir until melted.
  • To decorate cookies with melted chocolate, use a pastry bag fitted with a fine writing tip to pipe the melted chocolate or dip tines of a fork in chocolate and drizzle. You can improvise a pastry bag with a small plastic bag. Add melted chocolate to the bag, cut a tiny hole in one corner and squeeze the chocolate out.

Nutrition

Per cookie: 101 calories; 4 g fat (1 g sat, 2 g mono); 0 mg cholesterol; 15 g carbohydrates; 2 g protein; 1 g fiber; 4 mg sodium; 15 mg potassium.

Carbohydrate Servings: 1

Exchanges: 1 other carbohydrate, 1 fat


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