My holiday baking is finished, and today I am actually relaxing by the fire with my knitting and a warm cup of spiced tea. Tomorrow I must get back to work, as I have to get busy with my preparations for our Christmas Eve Feast Of The Seven Fishes, but today I am taking a break from the holiday preparations. My husband even offered to cook dinner for us tonight!
I have my cookie tray filled for my grandkids when they stop by, and I have to say that I had a lot of success this year with my holiday baking. Usually each year I test out a handful of new recipes, and there are always a couple that I either do not love or even some that do not make it onto my holiday cookie tray.
This year everything I baked met with approval, so I was able to keep everything I baked. Although I tried a few new recipes, it seems that this year is the year of the almond cookies because for some reason more than half my cookies contain some type of almonds or almond flavoring.
These cookies are one of the new cookies I tested, and although they are a little finicky to make, they turned out great, and the jam filling is a unique surprise when you bite into them. The trick to making these cookies is to think small, as you sandwich two cookies together into one.
If you start out with cookies that are large, the finished cookie is just too large. Another tip is to not use too much filling in each cookie, or it will be difficult to close the cookie dough around the jam filling and it might leak out during baking. Once you put the two cookie halves together, just work your way around the cookie pinching the dough together to join the cookies and enclose the filling.
Just like my recent Toasted Almond Crescent Cookies, toasting the almonds to a rich golden brown will create a delicious rich almond flavor. The almonds are then ground to be used in the dough, and grinding them very finely makes the dough much easier to work with. These cookies will last a week stored in a cool place in an airtight container, but if your house is like mine, I doubt that they will last a week!
Tip: To make the ground almonds, place a cup of whole blanched almonds on a baking sheet and place in a 350 degree F. preheated oven for about 13 minutes, or until the almonds are golden brown but not burnt. Allow the almonds to cool to room temperature, then grind finely in a food processor.
- 2 Cups All Purpose Flour
- 3/4 Cup Toasted Ground Almonds (See Notes Above)
- Pinch of Salt
- 1 Cup Unsalted Butter At Room Temperature
- 1/2 Cup Powdered Sugar
- 1/2 Teaspoon Almond Extract
- 1/4 Cup Seedless Raspberry Jam
- Powdered Sugar
- In one bowl, stir together the flour, and salt.
- In another bowl, using an electric hand mixer, cream the buttered powdered sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add the almond extract.
- Add the flour to the butter mixture and beat on low speed just until combined.
- Stir in the ground almonds.
- To shape the cookies, take two 1-inch pieces of dough and roll each into balls.
- Using your fingers, create a hollow into each dough ball and using a very small spoon, add a scant half teaspoon of jam.
- Put the two pieces of dough together enclosing the jam.
- Use your fingers to pinch the dough together all around ensuring the jam is covered.
- Gently reshape the cookie into a ball and place on parchment lined baking sheets.
- Continue to use the rest of the dough shaping cookies in this manner.
- Place the baking sheets in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 hours.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Bake the cookies until the bottoms just begin to brown, about 11 to 12 minutes.
- Remove the cookies from the oven, and when they are just warm, roll in the powdered sugar.
- Once completely cool, roll the cookies in the sugar once more.
- Store the cookies in an airtight container.