Recipe for Chocolate Almond Pretzels


2/3 cup unsalted butter; room temp
1/2 cup almond paste; room temp
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg white
2 teaspoon almond extract
2 cup flour
1 confectioners' sugar for
1 rolling pretzels
1/2 lb semisweet chocolate; melted almond paste:
8 oz almonds; blanched
1/2 stick unsalted butter; soft
1 cup (heaping) confectioner's
1 sugar
1 egg white
2 teaspoon almond extract


Preheat oven to 325~. Line baking pans with parchment or waxed paper. Cream butter and broken-up almond paste with sugar in electric mixer. Add egg white and extract and blend. Add the flour and blend well. Cover bowl and refrigerate one hour or longer. Dust rolling surface with confectioner' sugr. Use a generous teaspoon of doug and roll into a 6-inch rope. Place on baking sheet and form into pretzel shape. Bake about 10 mintes; don't allow to color. Melt chocolate in a double boiler over hot (not boiling) water. Stir to smooth. Dip half of each pretzel in chocolate, then drain on wire rack with a pan underneath. (Scrape chocolate drippings and re-use.) Store in airtight container. Almond Paste. Using the steel blade of the food processor, grind almonds to a fine powder. Add butter in chunks and process to blend. Add sugar; process. Beat egg white stiff with a whisk or electric mixer, then drop into almond paste. Add extract. Process just to blend ingredients. Store paste in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Almond paste will "ripen" and flavors will develop.

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