These are simply the best cookies ever (like EVER). I know that’s quite a statement, but I’ve never met anyone who doesn’t like these and whenever my eldest sister and I are set loose on a jar of chattyheads, they are devoured within minutes. We just can’t leave them alone.
Seriously, they are THAT good.
That is why I’ve decided that these cookies should be the star of my very first actual recipe post (whoo-hoo!).
The first time I tasted these cookies was when I was about ten and me and my family were visiting my grandma. Like all grandmothers, my grandma always stocked up on candies and sweets whenever my family came over for a visit. This time there were not only wrapped little chocolates and KINDER surprise in her biscuit tin, there were also these delicate, funny-looking cookies.
Carefully I selected the prettiest one, inquisitively sniffed it, sniffed it again, inhaled the amazing caramel smell of the cookies and…
I bit it…
I was sold after the first bite. And being the hungry little kid that I was, I ended up eating the lot as the grown ups were catching up over a cup of coffee and my siblings were playing with their KINDER surprise toys.
My love affair with ‘kletskoppen’ had begun!
Being the Dutchie that I am, I’ve always known these cookies as ‘kletskoppen’. I’ve never actually seen an English recipe of these, so I took the liberty of inventing a name for them. It turns out that ‘kletskoppen’ can be loosely translated into ‘chattyheads’.
The sight of my family catching up over a cup of coffee while enjoying these cookies certainly gave me an idea of where these cookies got their name from.
Besides, it sounds cute: chattyheads. Almost like an insult, as if these cookies talk too much.
When I was about nineteen, I found out that the Italian version of these cookies is known as ‘florentiners’. However, never having been to Italy, I never had the chance to sample one, although I’m sure they are great as well!
Anyway, because my blog is called ‘The Tough Cookie’ you may expect me to post about either really tough and chewy cookies, or an incredible difficult recipe. However, not only are these cookies light, brittle and delicate, they are also super easy to whip up from scratch.
Most of the ingredients are probably already in your pantry. The only thing I didn’t have lying around the house were the almonds, but a quick trip to the mall took care of that.
Once you have all your ingredients lined up and ready to go, the only thing you need to keep in mind is that this recipe requires both a food processor and a sugar thermometer. If you don’t have a food processor, simply use a mortar and pestle to smash the almonds into fine chunks or place the lot in a ziploc bag and smash them with a rolling pin (something I do in the recipe to get larger almond pieces). Both methods are tried and tested and basically foolproof!
I bought my sugar thermometer really cheap online – I think it was only $6 or something – and I have loved cooking with it ever since. It is definitely worth investing in one, as you can also use it for frying and poaching.
For your (and mine!) convenience, I’ve developed a cheat for this recipe. Because the cookie batter will spread like crazy (really crazy!!) you can only bake about 6 cookies per batch. As this recipe yields 40 cookies, this means baking them in 7 batches. Though this technique will result in flawless, amazing, perfect little cookies, I find I usually do not have the patience to bake 7 batches.
So I usually take a shortcut…
Instead of placing teaspoons of cookie batter 2 inches apart on the sheet pan, I place dessertspoons of cookie batter 2 inches apart on the sheet pan. During baking, the bigger heaps will flow into each other, forming one giant sheet cookie. After these giant cookies are cooled, I simply break them up into nice little shards.
If you have as much patience as I have and don’t mind dangerous looking cookie shards, try this method. You’ll love it.
Anyway, enjoy! These are really good and you will not regret making them. Enjoy them like I did with a nice cup of cinnamon mint tea or just a good old cup of coffee. Either way, don’t forget to chat while you eat them!
- 250g (or 2 cups) whole, blanched almonds
- 30g (or ¼ cup) all-purpose flour
- ¾ teaspoon table salt
- 200g (or 1 cup) granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons of honey
- 3 tablespoons whipping cream
- 113g (or ½ cup) unsalted butter
- ½ teaspoon almond extract
- Preheat the oven to 175°C (350°F) and line a sheet pan with baking parchment.
- Add half the almonds, the flour and the salt to the bowl of a food processor. Grind together until the almonds are finely chopped, but not yet completely pulverized. There should be some bigger chunks of almond still visible in the mixture.
- Put the remaining half of the almonds in a ziploc bag, taking care to seal in as little air as possible, and roughly crush the almonds with a rolling pin. I like to have bigger pieces of almond in my cookies, so I usually just jab every single almond once with the handle of the pin to split it in half.
- Combine the split (or crushed) almonds with the previously grinded mixture and set aside.
- In a large saucepan over low heat, combine the sugar, honey, cream and butter. Stir until the sugar has dissolved. Pop in a sugar thermometer and heat the mixture to 113°C (235 °F).
- Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the almond mixture until a paste forms. Stir in the almond extract.
- For individual cookies: use a teaspoon cookie scoop or just a pair of regular teaspoons to scoop batter onto the prepared sheet pan. This batter will spread during baking and one teaspoon of cookie batter will actually flow out into a 5-cm (2-inch) cookie, so teaspoons of batter should be spaced at least 6 cm (2,5 inches) apart.
- For cookie shards: use a pair of dessertspoons (or a 10-ml cookie scoop) to scoop batter onto the prepared sheet pan. Space the heaps of batter 6 cm (2,5 inches) apart. During baking, the batter will spread out into a giant cookie.
- Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes until they've turned a nice golden brown. The cookies will be very soft when you take them out of the oven.
- Let the cookies (or giant cookies) cool and crisp up on a flat surface. If you've chosen the path of cookie shards, break the giant cookies up into smaller shards. Store in an airtight container for up to a week.