Don’t worry–this is a no-bake chocolate cookie, not real salami. It is called “salami” because the cookies are dotted with bits of crushed tea biscuits in a way that evokes the mottled appearance of salami slices. Sometimes the chocolate salami log is rolled in powdered sugar, which is meant to be reminiscent of the film of white mold that covers authentic Italian salami. (Don’t think too hard about why someone would want their cookies to remind people of mold covered salami–stay focused and remember that these are yummy chocolate cookies that are super easy to make. In fact, this is an excellent project for your kids to make if they are bored and kvetchy.)
I decided to make this in a roundabout way. First, I was admiring this recipe on My Bisim for no-bake tahina cookies made with crushed tea bsicuits, tahina, honey and coconut. I wanted to make it, but the whole point of the recipe is that the cookies taste like halvah and my kids aren’t that keen on halvah. Then I thought about adding chocolate and substituting peanut butter for the tahina. And THAT is when I remembered about chocolate salami.
Chocolate salami is usually made with chocolate, cocoa, sugar, butter, eggs and chopped cookies. The first recipe that I ever saw (or tried) for chocolate salami was in a book by Meri Badi called250 Recettes de Cusine Juive Espanol. Recipe 219 is “Gateaux Salami.” It calls for 350 g. petit-beurre biscuits, 125 g. margarine, 2 eggs, 3 spoons of cocoa, 3 spoons of powdered sugar, 4 spoons of milk or liqueur, 5 bars of chocolate (chopped) and 75 g. of nuts (slivered almonds, pine nuts or pistachios).
I didn’t make that recipe this time. Instead, inspired by the My Bisim recipe and chocolate salami recipes, I kind of made something up. It isn’t a traditional chocolate salami recipe, but it is delicious, so who cares? I combined crushed and crumbled tea biscuits with melted chocolate, cocoa, powdered sugar and peanut butter. I formed a log, which I rolled in cocoa and then powdered sugar. I sliced the log after chilling it for a little bit. The result tasted pleasantly like a cross between peanut butter cups and milk chocolate with rice crispies in it.
This makes a small log. If you want more cookies, multiply accordingly. If you multiply by five, you will need 3 packages of Kedem Tea Biscuits, 1/3 cup cocoa, 2/3 cup powdered sugar, about 3/4 cup peanut butter and 5 bars of Elite dark chocolate.
80 g. vanilla or orange tea biscuits (18 cookies), partially broken up into small pieces and partially pulverized (can do by hand)
85 g. bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, melted (3 ounces, 1 bar Elite dark chocolate)
43 g. peanut butter (2 1/2 Tbl. /1.5 ounces)
5 g. cocoa powder (1 Tbl.), plus extra for rolling
15 g. powdered sugar (2 Tbl.), plus extra for rolling
If you haven’t already crushed the cookies, do so. You don’t need a food processor or a blender, you can just crush them by hand. Leave some small bits of cookies (this gives the mottled appearance to the cookies), but crush some of the cookies into a powder (this is what thickens the chocolate and peanut butter into cookie dough).
Add the cocoa powder and powdered sugar to the cookie crumbs. Then mix in the peanut butter.
At this point, if you haven’t melted your chocolate, do so. You can melt the chocolate in a heat-proof bowl in the microwave. It should take about a minute to melt the chocolate.
Mix the melted chocolate into the crumb mixture. The mixture will be rather sticky, but should form into a large clump of dough. Sprinkle some cocoa powder over the clump of crumb mixture in the bowl, just enough to lightly (very lightly) coat it. Dump the dough onto a piece of parchment or waxed paper. Use the paper and your hands (you will be happier if you have food serving gloves on) to shape the mass of crumbs into an 8″-9″ log about 1 1/2″ in diameter. Sprinkle over powdered sugar to coat the log thoroughly. Roll the log up in the paper. To make sure that the log stays in a round shape, wrap a large 8″x5″ index card or piece of cardstock (or a cut open paper towel roll) around the log and secure it in place with a rubber band.
Briefly chill the log and then slice the log to make individual cookies. It can be tricky to cut this without it crumbling, so don’t try to cut it thinly. Cut 1/2″-3/4″ thick slices. One log will give you about 1 1/2 dozen slices.
Variation: you can add in some nuts, maybe 1/4 cup of slivered almonds or pistachios.
Note: If you find it annoying that the cookie log is hard to slice, try adding a couple Tbl. liquid to the mixture before shaping the log. That should make the log less crumbly when cut.