There are still font childhood memories of baking with my family. Our little apartment bathed in those beautiful aromas of orange zest and spices such as,cinnamon and cloves. Our puny kitchen been messed up with flour and egg shells in the counter top,spilled milk on the stove.
In the winter,we were baking apple pie cakes,poaching pears in spiced syrup and all the traditional Greek desserts,that made my brother and I feel a bit inpatient. We couldn’t wait to get involved in the kitchen! One of my absolute favorite memories of living in Greece in the heart of winter is the wonderful aromas of roasted chestnuts on almost every street corner. Our father could get us a newspaper-wrapped bundle of roasted chestnuts. The heat was penetrating the newspaper and warming up our little hands.
Since it’s holiday season,I roasted bunch of them and I made some scrumptious little cookies. Soft on the inside,crunchy on the outside. Nothing can go wrong with the perfect combination of chocolate and pecan cookies,with a creamy filling. The chestnut & rum filling is smooth with floral hints of orange to brighten it up.
These fancy and decadent cookies are going to be holiday pleaser for small and big kids!
For the cookies:
- 3/4 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup powdered sugar
2 eggs, 1 separated
1 teaspoon gluten-free vanilla
1 1/2 cups Gluten-Free Flour Blend (see below)
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
3/4 cup coarsely crushed pecans
- 6 oz roasted chestnut (peeled)
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 cups water
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- 1/2 teaspoon orange zest
- 1 tablespoon dark rum
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
Gluten-Free Flour Blend: Combine 2 cups rice flour, 2/3 cup potato starch, 1/3 cup tapioca flour and 1 teaspoon xanthan gum. Use appropriate amount for recipe; store remainder in container with tight-fitting lid. Stir before using.
To make the chestnut-rum cream:
- In a saucepan, combine nuts, sugar and water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 10-15 minutes until the majority of the liquid is evaporated.
- Remove from heat and add the vanilla and dark rum.
- Strain the Chestnut, reserving the sugar syrup and transfer to a food processor and blend until smooth.
- Add syrup slowly until desired consistency is obtained.
- Add the heavy cream and orange zest and mix until well incorporated.
- Allow to cool before refrigerating.
To make the cookie:
Heat oven to 350°F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper; set aside.
Combine butter and powdered sugar in bowl; beat at medium speed until creamy. Add 1 egg and 1 egg yolk and vanilla; continue beating until well mixed. Add gluten-free flour blend, salt,cocoa powder and xanthan gum; beat at low-speed until well mixed.
Wrap the cookie dough in food film and put it in the freezer for 10-15 minutes until slightly firm,not harden completely.
Place egg white into bowl; lightly beat with whisk. Place graham cracker crumbs into another bowl. Shape dough into 1-inch balls.
Dip balls into egg white; roll in pecans. Reshape balls, if necessary. Place 1 inch apart onto prepared cookie sheets. Make indentation in center of each cookie with thumb or back of teaspoon.
Bake 10-12 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Place a teaspoon of chestnut-rum cream in each indentation. Top with candied orange peel and drizzle with some melted chocolate