These Chocolate, Ginger and Pecan Crackle Cookies are sweet, light and beautiful. They last for 2 weeks and are perfect for when guests arrive and you need that something sweet with your coffee.
Happy Christmas Eve! I hope you are feeling all ready for tomorrow. Frankly we are not there yet, but no one wants to be on top of everything do they? We are off to a Christingle service later today. It’s a DIY one where you build your own Christingle through the service. Love a DIY Christingle, though we did rock up last year with no idea we needed to bring our own oranges. Grandad rescued us with a quick trip to the shop while we found some seats. This year will be sorted at least for Christingle. Happy happy Christmas! I hope you have a great day in whatever shape it takes.
Right to today’s recipe for Chocolate, Ginger and Pecan Crackle Cookies- I follow lots of food blogs and one, Nicky’s Kitchen Sanctuary, recently published a recipe for Chocolate Cranberry Amaretti Cookies. I saw Nicky’s beautiful photos and read how she quickly whips up these cookies and decided I’d give them a try. I didn’t have Amaretto or cranberries but they were delicious none the less. Sweet, delicate and stunning to look at. As I tried not to eat too many, I wondered what they would be like with dark chocolate chunks, more cocoa, crystallised ginger and pecans? I’m a sucker for anything with ginger and chocolate.
I realised as I was making them that the recipe is similar to that for French Macaroons, beaten egg white, sugar and ground almonds. The sugar in Macaroons tends to be caster or fine and with icing or confectioner’s on the outside, whereas these cookies used caster sugar. If you know French Macaroons you’ll know that Nicky’s beautiful cookies are super sweet. But I wanted to try doubling the cocoa content to 40g, to see if that would temper some of the sweetness. Also, whereas French Macaroons are piped into circles on to a baking sheet, these cookies are rolled into balls in your hands and so are less fiddly to make.
Dark chocolate, cocoa, pecans, ginger, ground almonds and sugar are the makings of these Chocolate, Ginger and Pecan Crackle Cookies. If that ingredient list doesn’t convince you, then just look at them. Don’t they look beautiful? In short, more cocoa does mean a more intense chocolate flavour and a less sweet cookie. The dark chocolate chunks also temper the sweetness a little while adding another chocolate kick. Crystallised ginger, need I explain, I just love; the fiery, sweet taste of crystallised ginger. This recipe only has 55g of ginger, so it’s a gentle hit of ginger in these cookies, but a treat never the less when you get a little chunk of it. Pecans, yep another taste I struggle to resist, with their nutty, maple-syrupy like goodness. Again only 100g of pecans in these cookies, but that’s enough to ensure a good nut nibble in each cookie without compromising their structural integrity.
What I like about these Chocolate, Ginger and Pecan Crackle Cookies is that
• They take just 25 minutes to make. You whisk up the egg white and then fold in the other ingredients, shape them into balls and roll them in icing sugar – that’s it. That’s all you need do.
• The mixture doesn’t mind being abandoned for a little while. If, like me, half way through making them your 8-month old decides she is no longer happy playing with her toys then it’s no problem. Leave the mixture on the side, have a play and come back to the cooking when your little one can spare you.
• This recipe makes about 30 cookies, so hopefully it will keep us and you in sweet treats for guests for a little while.
• To cook all the cookies in one go you’ll need two baking sheets. But you can cook half of the cookies, then reline the baking sheet with baking paper and do the second batch. The mixture won’t suffer from being left on the side.
A word of advice … when you roll the dough in icing sugar, don’t be tempted to shake the sugar off as you need a good covering to give that lovely white and dark contrast with the cooked cookies. I love putting white little balls in the oven and then 17 minutes later pulling out these beautiful Chocolate, Ginger and Pecan Crackle Cookies. I imagine the shaping of these cookies and rolling them in icing sugar would be fun with a child. Though JP and I have yet to give this a go.
These Chocolate, Ginger and Pecan Crackle Cookies taste oh so good – sweet but not too sweet, the ginger adds it’s kick and the pecans work so well with the chocolate and the ground almonds. I have to be very firm with myself about how many of these I’m allowed. But the other thing about these cookies is that there are only around 16g of carbs each. To give that some context, a milk chocolate hobnob is 12g, a mince pie is 38g but these cookies deliver so much more of a treat feeling than a hobnob and to me they are better than a shop bought mince pie. They are a homemade few bites of deliciousness with only 16g carbs.
Chocolate ginger and pecan crackle cookies
- Prep Time: 25 minutes
- Cook Time: 17 minutes
- Total Time: 42 minutes
- Yield: 28 - 30
- 3 large egg whites
- 100g dark chocolate chips
- 60g crystallised ginger, finely chopped
- 100g pecans, roughly chopped
- 280g ground almonds
- 280g caster or fine sugar
- 40g cocoa
- 1 tsp almond essence
- 1½ tbsp water
- 70g icing or confectioners sugar for rolling
2 large baking trays lined with baking paper
- Preheat the oven to 170C/150C fan/325F.
- With an electric whisk, beat the egg whites until they are stiff (this means you can pull your whisk out of the mixture and the shape that is left remains, is still, and doesn’t collapse back into the mixture. You can also test this using the traditional method of turning the bowl upside down although my method is a little less risky.)
- Add to the bowl the chocolate chips, ginger, pecans, ground almonds, caster sugar, cocoa, and using a metal spoon stir until the mixture is just combined. You want to keep the cookies as light as possible so don’t over mix.
- Now add the almond essence and water and stir again.
- Spread the icing sugar on a plate. Spoon a teaspoon of the almond mixture into your hand and form a ball. Roll it in the icing sugar and place onto the lined baking tray. Make sure there is space around each cookie as they spread during cooking.
- Bake for 17 minutes or until your can see large dark brown cracks in the cookies. The cookies will still be tacky inside. Remove from the oven and leave to cool on the paper for 10 minutes. Then gently remove onto a cooling rack.