Chocolate Almond Roca Cookies

I made these rich candy-like cookies last year on a sunny Sunday before Christmas.  My daughters and grandchildren were here for lunch and I was looking for something to serve that would be “holly jolly”.   This delicious confection adapted from a recipe on Mennonite Girls Can Cook was perfect.


  • Servings: Depends on size of bars
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  •     12 long graham crackers
  •     1-1/2 cups sliced almonds
  •     1 cup butter (not margarine)
  •     1 cup dark brown sugar
  •     1-1/2 cups milk chocolate chips (Ghirardelli)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

Line an 11×16 inch jelly roll pan (with lips to catch spills) with parchment paper.  Lay the graham crackers in the pan to fit snugly.  Sprinkle with almonds and set aside.

Place the butter and brown sugar in a saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring constantly.

Bring to a full rolling boil – bubbles across the top surface of the mixture.  Pour hot mixture carefully over the almond/graham cracker base, spreading to cover all of the crackers and nuts.

Place in a preheated 350 degree F oven for 8 to 10 minutes, or until bubbly all over.  Remove from oven and sprinkle even with chocolate chips. Let cookies stand for a minute to melt the chocolate, then use a spatula to spread the chocolate in a thin layer.

Cool in the pan on a rack to room temperature.  Place in the freezer for 10-15 minutes to harden chocolate topping.

Using the spatula, lift and break the cookies in random size pieces.

This makes a large batch of delicious, rich cookies. 

Apricot Nut Cookies with Amaretto Icing

My youngest daughter is a busy stay-at-home mom who always finds time to get together with me on Fridays for lunch.  I try to make meals that are tasty, quick and easy, and reduced in fat and calories.  Here is the meal we had this week.

This week, I fixed an “un-diet” type meal, but adjusted the portions so my daughter could still stick to her Weight Watchers points.

This past week, I had watched Giada de Laurentiis on Food Network make some intruiging cookies.  I happened to have all of the ingredients on hand and thought I would try to make small cookies with just a smidgen of icing as dessert for my Friday lunch with Shannon.  These cookies are so delicious and a little bit of Amaretto icing goes a long way, especially for someone who has been dieting all week.  The only change I made to the ingredients was to make a smaller amount of icing.


  • Servings: Approx. 48 small cookies
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  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 Tblsp. granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup dried apricots, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted
  • 2 Tblsp. pine nuts, toasted

In a large bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and salt until light and fluffy.  Beat in the egg.  Stir in the flour until just blended.  Mix in the apricots…

…almonds and pine nuts.

Divide the dough in half and form each into a 12″ long log.  Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Remove one log from refrigerator and divide in half.  Cut each half-portion into quarters and then each quarter into three 1/2″ slices.  Place slices on ungreased cookie sheet, leaving 1-1/2″ to 2″ between each slice.

Bake @ 350 degrees F for about10-12 minutes, until cookies are golden brown.  Remove to rack to cool.  Then place a dab of Amaretto icing on each cookie.


  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 2-3 Tblsp. Amaretto

Add Amaretto to sugar gradually, stirring until mixture is of a drizzling consistency.

Yield:  48 small cookies 

Nutrition per DietPower for one cookie:  58 calories, 2.71 gr fat, 10.2 mg cholesterol, 21.4 mg sodium, 27.2 mg potassium, 7.52 g carbohydrates, 0.243 g fiber, 0.806 g protein

Weight Watchers count for each cookie:  2 Points/Plus

Refrigerate or freeze remaining log and icing to make fresh cookies another time.  Diet-wise, it’s better not to have too many of these on hand at a time – they’re just too hard to resist.

For our entree, I chose an old favorite, (see my recipe here –  Impossibly Easy Seafood Pie and made individual portions equaling 1/6 of the recipe.

Nutrition per 1/6 of Impossibly Easy Seafood Pie, using low-fat Bisquick and 2% milk:  208 calories, 13.6 g fat, 134 mg cholesterol, 251 mg sodium, 71.9 mg potassium, 8.58 g carbohydrates, 0 g fiber, 12.5 g protein

Weight Watchers count for 1/6 of Impossibly Easy Seafood Pie:  6 PointsPlus

This meal was a good example of how we can enjoy some of our favorite foods so long as we watch the portions.