Chocolate Almond Crunchies
Although you can now buy really good-quality biscuits and American cookies, making them at home still has the edge, and as biscuits are so easy, it's a very good place to start if you are a beginner in home baking. I've used 'adult' chocolate in these, but for children, chocolate chips would do fine.
This recipe is taken from How to Cook Book One and The Delia Collection: Chocolate
| 2 oz (50 g) dark Continental chocolate (75 per cent cocoa solids)|
| 1½ oz (40 g) whole almonds, unblanched|
| 4 oz (110 g) butter|
| 3 oz (75 g) demerara sugar|
| 1 dessertspoon golden syrup|
| 4 oz (110 g) self-raising flour|
| pinch of salt|
| 4 oz (110 g) porridge oats|
| Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 3, 325°F (170°C).|
|You will also need two large baking sheets, greased or with liners.|
First of all, using a sharp knife, chop the chocolate into small chunks about ¼ inch (5 mm) square.
Now put the butter, sugar and syrup in a saucepan, place it on the gentlest heat possible and let it all dissolve, which will take 2-3 minutes. Meanwhile, chop the nuts into small chunks about the same size as the chocolate pieces. When the butter mixture has dissolved, take it off the heat.
In a large mixing bowl, sift in the flour and salt and add the porridge oats and half the chocolate and nuts, then give this a quick mix before pouring in the butter mixture. Now, using a wooden spoon, stir and mix everything together, then switch from a spoon to your hands to bring everything together to form a dough. If it seems a bit dry, add a few drops of cold water.
Now take half the dough and divide it into nine lumps the size of a large walnut, then roll them into rounds using the flat of your hand. Place them on a worktop and press gently to flatten them out into rounds approximately 2½ inches (6 cm) in diameter, then scatter half the remaining chocolate and almonds on top of the biscuits, pressing them down lightly.
Once you have filled one tray (give them enough room to spread out during baking), bake them on the middle shelf of the oven for 15 minutes while you prepare the second tray. When they're all cooked, leave them to cool on the baking sheets for 10 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to finish cooling. You could store the biscuits in a sealed container, but I doubt you'll have any left!