Makes about 4 dozen cookies.
Taste Tip: This dough must be prepared in advance. Sambuca Black is an anise-flavored liqueur.
12 ounces bittersweet chocolate
1 tablespoon butter
¼ cup Sambuca Black (see Taste Tip)
1 cup granulated sugar, divided
1 cup raw almonds, finely chopped
⅔ cup flour
¾ teaspoon baking soda
⅓ cup powdered sugar
In a double boiler over gently simmering water (or in a microwave oven), melt chocolate and butter, stirring to combine. Remove from heat and cool slightly.
In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, Sambuca Black and ½ cup granulated sugar. Add chocolate mixture and whisk until combined. Using a spatula, fold in almonds, flour and baking soda until combined; dough will be soft and sticky. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to 24 hours.
When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees and line baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a small bowl, combine remaining ½ cup granulated sugar and powdered sugar. With slightly wet fingers, roll teaspoon-size balls of dough and roll them in sugar mixture. Place cookies 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets and bake until cookies are puffed, cracked and just set, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from oven and cool completely on baking sheets.
2006 Finalist: Robert Bantle of St. Paul, Minnesota