Makes 2 to 3 dozen cookies.
Taste Tip: This dough must be prepared in advance. Pasteurized eggs are recommended for food safety reasons. The Swedish cookies are also known as Choklad Biskvier.
2 (7-ounce) tubes almond paste, cut into small pieces
2 egg whites
½ cup granulated sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 pasteurized egg yolks (see Taste Tip)
4 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
For chocolate coating
10 to 12 ounces dark or bittersweet chocolate
2 to 4 teaspoons vegetable oil or melted butter
To prepare cookies:
In a bowl of an electric mixer on medium speed, beat almond paste and egg whites until thoroughly combined, about 2 minutes, scraping down sides of bowl as necessary. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 30 minutes.
When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees and line baking sheets with parchment paper.
Using a small scoop, form dough into balls (or drop by heaping teaspoons) and place 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Moisten the flat bottom of a glass with water, dip into granulated sugar and carefully press prepared glass bottom into dough balls, flattening dough; repeat with remaining dough. Bake until lightly brown, 18 to 20 minutes. Remove from oven and cool 5 minutes before transferring cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.
To prepare filling:
Line baking sheets with wax paper.
In a bowl of an electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter until creamy, about 1 minute. Add powdered sugar, vanilla extract, egg yolks and cocoa powder, and mix until smooth (scraping down sides of bowl as necessary), about 2 minutes. Using a small knife, spread about 1 tablespoon filling on top of each cookie, making a rounded top. Transfer cookies to prepared baking sheets and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
To prepare chocolate coating:
Break chocolate into small pieces. In a double boiler over gently simmering water (or in a microwave oven), melt chocolate. Whisk in 2 teaspoons vegetable oil (or melted butter), adding more to reach desired consistency. Let mixture cool for a few minutes, then dip tops of cookies into chocolate mixture, holding onto almond base. Return cookies to prepared baking sheets and refrigerate until chocolate hardens, at least 30 minutes. Store in refrigerator and serve chilled.
2011 Winner: Beth Jones of Owatonna, Minnesota