Frenchie and the Christmas Treats

21 Dec

Not growing up with falling snow during the Holidays, I only discovered what a white Christmas is when I moved to the States.

The snow decided to skip Christmas last year in Boston.

And it looks like this year Christmas won’t be white either.

Que faire …?

Snow or not, and a bag of shredded coconut on my kitchen counter, I baked “snowy” cookies – or rochers as I like to call them because they’re small and dense like rocks but still soft and moist like cookies.

Coconut and chocolate.

Un délice !

And a nice texture from the coconut flour mixed with amaranth flour and coconut flakes… ideal.

These cookies have been a favorite of mine now for 3 weeks.

And you don’t want to know how many batches I made!

And since we’re discussing chocolate, Christmas isn’t the same without truffles.

Add a sprinkle of orange zest, a dash of ground cloves and a sip of Armagnac… voilà !

Small treats to share with all of you before the Holidays.

Christmas treats that will please friends and family.

Joyeux Noël everyone.

May your Holiday Season be merry and cheery.

Chocolate Orange Truffles with Cloves and Armagnac

makes 25-30 truffles

7 oz (200 g) high-quality dark chocolate (at least 75%) – coarsely chopped

1/2 cup (120 ml) of heavy cream

1 Tbsp (15 g) of butter – cubed

the zest of one organic orange

1-2 teaspoons of Armagnac – or another liquor like whiskey or rum (only put 2 teaspoons if you like a strong taste)

2 dashes of ground cloves

unsweetened cocoa powder

Place the chocolate chunks in a medium bowl with the butter.

In a small saucepan, heat the cream but do not reach its boiling point. Remove from the heat right before it starts simmering.

Pour the cream over the chocolate and butter and wait 2 minutes.

In the meantime, finely zest the orange.

Stir the cream in the bowl until the chocolate and butter are completely melted and smooth.

Add the zest, Armagnac, and a dash or two of ground cloves.

Scrape the sides of the bowl and make sure it is well stirred. Cover and place in the fridge for 90 minutes.

Line a big plate with parchment paper. Remove the bowl from the fridge.

Using a melon baller, scoop small balls of chocolate onto the plate. It does not matter if they are not perfectly round.

Scoop the entire bowl on the plate and place it in the fridge to chill again for 20 minutes.

While the truffles are chilling, sift some cocoa powder on a new plate.

Remove the truffles from the fridge and roll them in the cocoa powder. Using your hands, roll and shape them into balls.

Return them on the plate with the parchment paper and in the fridge again for at least 1 hour.

Chocolate Chip and Coconut Rochers Cookies

makes 16-18 rochers

7 Tbsp (100 g) of butter – softened at room temperature

1/2 cup (100 g) of light brown sugar or light Muscovado sugar

1/3 cup (65 g) of blonde cane sugar

1 Tbsp of almond butter

1.5 teaspoon of vanilla extract

2 eggs

3/4 cup (110 g) of amaranth flour

1/2 cup (55 g) of coconut flour

1/3 cup (60 g) of brown rice flour

1/3 cup (40 g) of teff flour

1/4 teaspoon of sea salt

1/4 teaspoon of baking soda

1/2 cup (30 g) of dried coconut flakes – roughly chopped

1 cup (170 g) of chocolate – roughly chopped in small chunks


2 Tbsp of powdered sugar

2 Tbsp of unsweetened shredded coconut

Preheat the oven to 350 °F (180 °C). Place parchment paper on 2 baking sheets.

In a medium bowl, beat the soft butter, brown and blonde cane sugars with a hand-held mixer for 2-3 minutes until creamy.

Add the almond butter, vanilla and eggs. Beat for another minute. Set aside and scrape the sides.

In a big bowl, sift and combine the flours with the sea salt and baking soda.

Add the wet ingredients to the bowl with the flours. Stir until well combined.

Using your clean hands, stir in the coconut flakes in the dough. Knead until well incorporated.

Add the chocolate chunks and do the same. Make a ball with the dough.

With your hands, shape little heaping cakes of batter (1.5-2 Tbsp of batter for each). They do not need to be perfectly round and flat – this is what makes them look like rocks or rochers.

Place them on the parchment paper on the baking sheets. Make sure to leave some space between them.

Bake in the oven for 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool completely on the baking sheet before transferring them to a plate.

Dust with the powdered sugar and shredded coconut before serving.


3 Responses to “Frenchie and the Christmas Treats”

  1. AF December 21, 2012 at 10:21 PM #

    My mouth is watering after reading this. Wish I was sharing a cookie and a coffee with you.


  2. December 31, 2012 at 3:29 AM #

    Bonjour David. So happy I found your blog today (don’t ask me where: I have been browsing for the last 30 minutes or so… 🙂 I am your newest Follower. Great to hear from another Frenchie, even though I can tell after reading some of your stories that you are a lot more of a “foodie” than I am… I like the spin your put on things, and your beautiful photography. Will return soon. In the meantime, excellente année 2013 et… bon réveillon sur la Côte Est. Veronique (French Girl in Seattle) PS: Loved your Julia Child story. I recently hosted a Julia-themed dinner party for my American friends and blogged about it 🙂


    • David Santori December 31, 2012 at 8:33 AM #

      @ Véronique: Thank you for your nice comments and welcome to F & Y! Always happy to have new readers. Enjoy your New Year’s Eve!


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