Known in French as “croquants”, these little twice-baked cookies may remind you of the Italian biscotti, but I promise they are French through and through. They are very popular in the South of France, and especially in Provence, where almonds grow abundantly. Just like biscotti, they are quick and easy to assemble, cut cross-ways and twice baked for an incomparable crispness. And they are very hard to stop at one!
The traditional version of the Provencal “croquant” is made with just a few simple ingredients (flour, sugar, butter, eggs), a handful of almonds and flavored with orange blossom. But there are so many variations of it that exist, made with fixings like hazelnuts, anise seeds, candied fruits, etc… and of course, with chocolate, like in today’s recipe.
- Using roasted almonds (not unroasted) will impart so much more flavor to these twice-baked “croquants” cookies. If you only have unroasted almonds, make sure you take the time to roast them before you start this recipe (instructions in step 1 of the recipe below).
- Make sure you use soft, room temperature butter.
- I often use bittersweet or dark chocolate chips for this recipe, but milk chocolate chips are lovely as well. You can also use chopped chocolate (instead of chips).
- This recipe is easy, but the slicing of the logs (after the first bake) may be the only step that is a little intricate. These cookies are quite delicate right after the first bake, so the slicing can end up very crumbly if not done properly. Make sure you use a very sharp knife (this is essential) and cut the slices with a quick and confident motion. Also, wait about 5 minutes after the logs are out of the oven to slice them. But do not wait any longer or the logs will cool and toughen up, meaning the slicing won’t be as clean.
I hope you’ll love this Chocolate Almond Twice-baked cookies from Provence (“Croquants”) recipe as much as I do! If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment.
You may also like:
- Buckwheat Chocolate Chip Cookies with Sea Salt
- Breton Salted Butter Sables
- Chocolate chip cookies with fleur de sel
- White wine Almond canistrelli biscuits from Corsica
150g whole almonds
1/2 cup (100g) sugar
1/3 cup + 2 tbsp (100g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 large eggs
2 cups (250g) all-purpose flour
¼ tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/3-1/2 cup (50-75g) chocolate chips (bittersweet, dark or milk)
Step 1 – If they aren’t roasted yet, start by roasting the almonds. Pre-heat your oven to 365°F (185°C) and spread the almonds onto a parchment lined baking sheet or a skillet. Roast in the oven for 10 minutes and allow to cool to room temperature.
Step 2 – In a large mixing bowl, mix together the softened butter and sugar until creamy. Add in the eggs and mix until incorporated. Add the flour, salt and baking powder and mix until just incorporated. Fold in the chocolate chips and almonds, and mix until the dough comes together into a rough ball.
Pre-heat your oven to 350°F (180°C)
Step 3 – Transfer the dough onto a floured working surface and divide it into two equals parts. Shape the two parts into two 8"-9” (20-23cm) long logs. Carefully lift them and transfer them onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Flatten them slightly with your hands.
Bake for 20-25 minutes until lightly golden.
Step 4 – Take the two baked logs out of the oven (keep on the baking sheet) and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Using a very sharp knife, cut the logs into 0.8”(2cm) thick slices. Lay the slices flat (cut side down) and bake for an additional 20 minutes, flipping the slices after 10 minutes so each side crisps properly.
Transfer the Croquants to a cooling rack to cool to room temperature.
Did you make this recipe?