Reading Secrets

Sugar-free obsession:  Reading books. 

Recently, I read the book “My Life from Scratch” by Gesine Bulluck-Prado.  It was a great book about a woman who left her life in movie production in L.A. and moved to Vermont and opened the bakery, “Gesine’s”.  

Books like this one tell it all…the good and the bad.  And she provides her recipes and tips along the way. 


A particular recipe in the book stuck out to me. Gesine said that she is known for her almond cookie at her bakery. But she wouldn’t give away that recipe. But she did give this recipe for the chocolate version of the cookie and said it was just as popular.  

With few ingredients, the trick is to use very good-quality chocolate. You can buy a few 3.5 ounce Lindt Bittersweet Chocolate bars in any grocery store. 

I loved how chocolatey and rich these little cookies were!  It tastes like chocolate ganache. Yummm.              

And lucky you, there is no need to fly to Vermont to enjoy these cookies.  And, if you make them yourself, you get the bonus of tasting the dough.  But if you are one of the won’t-eat-dough-because-of-raw-egg people, then I am sorry because you have not lived.  And for you chocolate lovers…welcome to chocolate heaven.


Rich Chocolate Almond Cookies

Recipe adapted from "starry starry nights" made by Gesine Bullock-Prado
Makes about 40-60 mini cookies (depending on the size)

  • 8.2 oz bittersweet chocolate  (2 1/2 bars of Lindt Bittersweet Chocolate, they come in 3.5 ounce bars)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2.6 oz (about ¾ cup) slivered almonds ground to a fine powder (about 5/8 cup slivered almonds measured before grinding)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon non-dutch processed cocoa powder
  • 2 large eggs at room temperature
  • ¼ cup plus one tablespoon sugar (plus additional for dipping)
  • 1 tablespoon honey

    Note: To get almond flour, grind almonds and 1 teaspoon of the sugar in a food processor until they become a meal, almost floury, but be careful not to process so long that the almonds become a paste.


- Melt the chocolate and butter together in a heatproof bowl over simmering water or at half power, 1 minute at a time in the microwave (stirring after each minute) until melted. Cool slightly. Set aside.

- Toss the almond flour, salt, and cocoa in a bowl until well combined. Set aside.

- Combine the eggs, sugar, and honey in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat with the whisk attachment on high speed until the mixture reaches a thick ribbon stage. Add the almond-cocoa mixture to the melted chocolate and mix until fully incorporated. Add one quarter of the whipped egg mixture to the chocolate mixture to lighten it.

-Stir until no egg is visible. Gently fold the rest of the egg mixture into the chocolate until well combined, being careful to maintain the aerated quality of the eggs. Chill well until firm.

- Place a few tablespoons of sugar into a small bowl. Using the smallest cookie scooper availablec (I used one a little bigger than a melon baller) scoop individual cookies, dip them in the sugar, and place on a parchment-lined sheet pan ½ inch apart. Freeze uncovered until very hard, about an hour.

-  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Just before baking, dip each cookie in sugar again. Bake 10 minutes, turning the baking sheet front to back after 5 minutes to ensure even baking. Cookies should be slightly cracked but he sugar should not be browned.

TIPS:  Take Gesine’s word for it and bake these with care and you will get the perfect cookie!  “It’s easy to cut a corner and court disaster. Pay attention: to the chocolate, to the eggs, to the temperature and feel of your ingredients at every stage. Make sure to have extra chocolate on hand to nibble as your work; it calms the impatient baking beast beautifully.”