Gingerbread Almond Nuggets (Biberle) 64.000

Dixie D. Vereen for The Washington Post

Holiday Cookies 2016 Dec 1, 2016

Here, gingerbread dough is wrapped around a thin log of almond paste.

Make Ahead: The spice blend can be kept covered at room temperature for up to 6 months. The cookie dough needs to be refrigerated for at least 1 hour and up to 1 day. The baked nuggets can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 6 weeks (and preferably for at least 2 weeks; their flavor improves with age).


Servings:
64

When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 64 servings

Ingredients
  • 6 tablespoons honey
  • 7 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) plus 2 teaspoons high-fat, European-style unsalted butter
  • 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon spice blend (see NOTE)
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 10 1/2 ounces almond paste (from 2 logs; do not use marzipan)
  • Cold water

Directions

Combine the honey, brown sugar and butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring until melted and well combined. Let cool.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, spice blend and salt in a mixing bowl. Stir in the cooled honey mixture to form a dough, then knead (in the bowl) until well combined. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 1 day.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone liner.

Divide the almond paste into 8 equal portions. Use your clean hands to roll each portion into a 9-inch log that’s about 1/2 inch in diameter.

Divide the chilled dough into 8 equal portions. Use a rolling pin to roll each portion between two pieces of plastic wrap into a rectangle that measures 4 1/2 inches by 9 1/2 inches, positioning the long edge parallel to the edge of your work space. Remove the top piece of plastic wrap, then brush the dough lightly with cold water.

Place one log of almond paste along the long edge of the dough that’s closest to you, pressing it down slightly. Using the bottom plastic wrap to start the rolling, roll the cookie dough around the almond paste log as tightly as possible, making sure you finish with the seam on the bottom. Then use your hands to roll the log a few times to make that seam disappear.

Use a sharp knife to trim off one end of the roll on the diagonal. Cut the remaining log on the diagonal into 8 equal nuggets (about 1 inch each), turning the log as needed (so the pieces will be trapezoidal). Trim the last piece as needed to create the same shape. (You can bake the rolled scraps.)

Arrange the nuggets on the baking sheet, spacing them 1/2 inch apart. Repeat with more dough and almond paste to fill the baking sheet. Bake (middle rack) for 12 to 14 minutes or until lightly browned yet still somewhat soft to the touch. Let the nuggets cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Repeat with the remaining dough and almond paste.

NOTE: To make the spice blend, combine 5 tablespoons of ground cinnamon, 1 1/2 tablespoons of ground cloves, 1 teaspoon of ground allspice, 1 teaspoon of ground cardamom, 1 teaspoon of ground ginger, 1 teaspoon of ground mace and 3/4 teaspoon of ground anise seed in a bowl and mix well to combine. The yield is about 1/2 cup. Store in a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from "Classic German Baking: The Very Best Recipes for Traditional Favorites, from Pfeffernüsse to Streuselkuchen," by Luisa Weiss (Ten Speed Press, 2016).

Tested by Sarah Meyer Walsh.

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