Sunday, September 19, 2010

Sandwich Cookies of Awesome

I made these cookies for a bridal shower I hosted yesterday and they were a huge hit. This is based on the Raspberry Sandwich Cookie recipe from The Ultimate Cookie Book, which I found in the bargain books section of Barnes and Noble many years ago. I don't have a picture of these because they were such a hit that they were all gone before I got one. Many of the guests took a couple home with them and I am hoping one of them will send me a picture to share. A kind guest sent me a picture of the last remaining cookies taken immediately before eating them, aren't they pretty? If you want to make your own here you go.

You need:
1 cup raw almonds (or roasted, unsalted should work too)
1 1/2c flour
3/4 c butter
1/2 sugar
lemon zest from one lemon (a good use for that microplane)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
raw sugar
strawberry lemonade jam (the original recipe calls for raspberry jam you mix with a little lemon juice if you don't have the strawberry lemonade jam)

Finely chop the almonds and 3 tablespoons of flour in a food processor. The finer you do this the smoother your dough will be and the easier it will be to cut out the cookies later. Cream together the butter and sugar in an electric mixer and then add the lemon zest and vanilla. Add the almond mixture and the flour to make a dough. Wrap the dough in waxed paper or plastic wrap and chill it for at least an hour (I refrigerated the dough for more like 10 hours because I was busy and it was still fine). Preheat the oven to 325F and line two cookie sheets with waxed paper or baking mats. Roll your dough out on a floured surface (I had to knead it a bit to before it would hold together well enough to roll) until it is 1/8" - 1/4" thick. (I did this with 1/4 of the dough at a time which I found made it easier to manage.) Cut out an even number of circles (or other basic shape) and use a smaller cookie cutter or a thimble/funnel/piping nozzle to cut the middles out of half of those. Sprinkle the tops of the "o" shaped cookies with raw sugar and bake 12-15 minutes until they are lightly browned. Let them stay on the cookie sheet for a couple of minutes after you pull them out to firm up before moving them to a cooling rack. Once the cookies are totally cool pair up the tops and bottoms and lay them down on the rack open ready for jam, you'll want the side of the cookies that was down during baking to be the insides off the cookies. Put some jam (I think I used about 4oz) into a custard cup or a small heat-proof bowl and microwave it on high for about 30 seconds or until it is melted (watch it and if it starts bubbling stop it immediately). Spread a heaping teaspoon of jam onto the bottom of each sandwich, place the top half and give it a good wiggle to settle everything in. Once the jam cools again and sets you will have pretty cookies that are ready to serve. The only thing to remember is that the firmer the jam the less messy the cookies will be. I want to say this recipe made around 2 dozen cookies. I made them a day ahead and they stored well in an air-tight container overnight. However, once I put them out for people to try they didn't last very long. These are a tasty, fancy looking cookie that is great for parties or a special treat for your loved ones.

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