I made roasted almond slivers (aka haystack cookies) with chocolate for the first time at our annual Christmas cookie bake in 2002.
And it became one of my favorite recipes.
My whole family was so delighted with this wonderful no-bake chocolate recipe that we are creating this delicacy every year from that time on. Be it to be eaten by us or as a simple chocolate treat for friends and relatives.
Haystack cookies are one of the quickest and easiest Christmas cookie recipes I can imagine.
On top of that, they are incredibly delicious and appreciated by people everywhere. And another plus for these delicacies: they are gluten-free!
The annual cookie-baking is one of my most beloved Advent traditions. Every year, family and friends meet to bake cookies and make delicacies for the beautiful Advent season and Christmas.
And every year, old and new recipes are tried, baked, and decorated. Partly to taste the cookies themselves and also to give them away as a small gift.
To make haystack cookies, you need almond slivers. For a serving of 9 large cookies or 18 small ones, 1 cup of almond slivers are sufficient. Use unsalted almonds for this haystack cookie recipe!
You will also need 1 ¼ cups of chocolate. The more couverture, the more chocolaty it tastes.
Here, as always, it depends on personal taste. If you prefer it to be intense, with a rich chocolate flavor, it is best to use dark chocolate. The dark chocolate version can also be refined wonderfully with dried cranberries if you want something fruity.
If you like it really sweet, go for the white couverture. The white couverture is less intense than the dark chocolate but much sweeter. Raisins get along extraordinarily well with white chocolate and offer a pleasant change or addition here. You should definitely try it at least ONE TIME!
The classic version I am describing here is haystack cookies with milk chocolate. They do not need any other fruit because they are so tasty, just the way they are. The milk chocolate offers a good, down-to-earth taste, and combined with the roasted almonds, your mouth waters. 🙂
If you have a particular brand of chocolate in mind that you like particularly well, I recommend that you prefer it to the couverture. This choice will give you the desired chocolate taste excellently paired with the roasted almond slivers.
To successfully create haystack cookies, you will need the following utensils, which you should prepare before you start your chocolate creation.
- 1 Pan for roasting the almond slivers
- 1-2 Baking Trays (For 9 big cookies one baking tray should be enough. If you fancy making 18 small ones, you are going to need two baking trays).
- Baking sheet
- 1 Tablespoon (for creating the big cookies) or 2 Teaspoons (for the small ones).
- 1 Small Cooking Pot (to melt the couverture)
- 1 Big Cooking Pot (for the water bath (bain-marie))
- 1 Wooden Spoon
To make the first creation as smooth as possible, I recommend following the individual steps one after the other.
Roasting the almond slivers
Spread the almond slivers, in our case 1 cup, loose in a non-stick frying pan (without fat). Ensure that not too many slivers lie on top of each other. Only the slivers with direct contact with the bottom of the pan are roasted.
Set the burner to half to three-quarters power. Turn the almond slivers from time to time and always keep an eye on them! As soon as the almond slivers start to turn golden brown, they are ideally roasted.
At this point, immediately remove them from the pan and place them in a bowl, plate, or wooden chopping board so that they do not turn black and then cool down.
If some almond slivers turn black or dark brown, remove them because they are not edible, and your chocolate almond slivers will not taste good anymore.
If you prefer, you can certainly roast the almonds in the oven.
How to toast almonds: in the oven
Make toasted almonds in the oven when you have time to preheat the oven! This method is also preferred for quantities over 1 cup. Again, the timing will vary depending on whether the almond is whole, sliced (like the photos) or slivered.
👍 Advantages: This method cooks the nuts more evenly than the stovetop method, and you can cook lots of nuts at once. 👎 Drawbacks: You'll need to wait for the oven to preheat: about 10 to 15 minutes!
Basic oven method ( go to recipe ): Preheat to 350 °F and bake the almonds on a baking sheet for about 7 to 8 minutes, until golden brown.
Melting the couverture
Before you can begin melting the chocolate couverture, fill the large cooking pot with water and place it on the stove. Then put the smaller pot into the big pot (filled with water) so that it floats. Take the couverture bar and break it into small pieces. Set the burner to three-quarters power. Important here: The water should be hot, but not boiling (boiling water could splash into the couverture)! Therefore, it is better to let it melt a little longer while maintaining the couverture's perfect consistency. 🙂
Allow the couverture to melt while repeatedly stirring until no more solid components are visible.
Mixing the roasted almonds with the melted chocolate couverture
Now the time has come! Mix the roasted almond slivers with the melted couverture. Stir the mixture until all slivers are well covered with the chocolate coating.
At the end
To finalize, take a tablespoon for large portions or two teaspoons for small cookies and place the almond chocolate mixture on the prepared baking tray covered with a baking sheet. Now give them time to solidify.
When it's cold outside, let the heaps solidify outdoors. (Works like a charm.) If it's not cold enough, you can, of course, place the baking tray with the chocolate almond slivers in the refrigerator after they have cooled down. As soon as the cookies are firm enough, remove them from the baking sheet, put them in an airtight container, and store them in the refrigerator. This way, they will not absorb any unpleasant odors and will keep their consistency.
If you make this recipe, let me know how you liked it by ★★★★★ star rating it and leaving a comment below. This would be awesome! You can also sign up for our Newsletter or follow me on Pinterest or Instagram and share your creation with me. Just tag me @combinegoodflavors and hashtag #combinegoodflavors, so I don't miss it.
No-Bake Haystack Cookies
- Roast 1 cup Almond Slivers in a frying pan until golden brown and allow them to cool down.1 cup Almond Slivers
- Melt 1 ¼ cup Chocolate bar in a water bath.1 ¼ cup Chocolate bar
- Mix the chocolate together with the almond slivers.
- Use a tablespoon (for big cookies) or two teaspoons (for small ones) and place heaps of the almond-chocolate-mixture on a baking Sheet.
- Give them time to solidify. (When it's cold outside, let them solidify outdoors. Works like a charm.)
Roasted almond slivers with chocolate potpourriTo satisfy the different tastes, I recommend buying different couverture (or chocolate bars). Dark chocolate, milk chocolate, and white chocolate are the most common. If there is a desire for a particular brand of chocolate, it is better to choose the desired chocolate bar, as not every company makes the couverture.
- In the white chocolate version, raisins can be mixed with the roasted almonds. Fits very well together and tastes delicious!
- The version with dark chocolate is particularly suitable for being refined with dried cranberries.
- And the milk chocolate almond slivers are amazing even without additional ingredients!
Nutrition values are estimates only, using online calculators. Please verify using your own data.
⛑️ Food Safety
- Cook to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat
- Wash hands after touching raw meat
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove
For further information, check Safe Food Handling - FDA.