These cookies are sure to make a gloomy afternoon just a little bit brighter. I love to serve these with Earl Grey Tea. Yum.
While this recipe is fairly time consuming, the ingredient list is simple:
1 cup butter, softened
1-1/4 cups sugar, divided
2 eggs, separated
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup ground almonds
3/4 cup raspberry preserves
You are probably doubting my math skills since the recipe calls for 2 eggs and my picture shows 4. I took a large plate of these to the Alzheimer's Facility, so I doubled the recipe. The recipe listed above will yield approximately 2 dozen cookies.
First of all, separate your eggs. You will need the yolks for the cookie dough and the egg whites for an egg white wash used later. Set the bowl with the egg whites aside.
Cream together the 1 cup (2 sticks) of the softened butter and 2/3 cup of the granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Add the 2 eggs yolks, one at a time. Make sure that each has been completely combined. Continue to beat until fluffy.
In a medium bowl, sift the 2-1/2 cups of all-purpose flour and the 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Slowly add to the butter mixture.
Do NOT over mix this. Just mix until the flour has been incorporated. You will be rolling these cookies and will be handling the dough a lot, so you don't want to do to much to it at this point.
Shape the dough into a ball. Cover and refrigerate for at least 45 minutes.
Once the dough has chilled, break off half (or even a quarter) of the dough and put it onto a surface that has been dusted with confectioners' sugar. At this point, you will need to preheat your oven to 350 degrees. You will also need a 2-1/2 inch circle cutter and then a smaller one for the center. A doughnut cutter would be great for this, but I used my Nan's biscuit cutter and then a small cookie cutter for the center.
Roll the dough out to 1/8 of an inch. Yeah, I totally guessed. I have no idea how thick 1/8 of an inch is. Thin, right? :)
Half of the circles are going to have a second hole in the center. This will be the top cookie.
This is where you are going to need the reserved egg whites and the ground almonds. Are you ready? Combine the ground almonds (I used Brad's coffee grinder, shhh!) and the remaining sugar.
Brush some of the egg white mixture onto the "top" cookies. (The ones with the second shape cut out) Then sprinkle on some of your ground almond/sugar mixture. Place your cookies on parchment paper lined cookie sheets.
You can see the two halves here. The egg wash and almond mixture only go onto the "top" cookie. Bake at 350 degrees for 6-8 minutes. Watch these carefully and be sure to check on them at six minutes. The cookies will be lightly browned and smell amazing. Move to a cooling rack to cool completely.
Once they have cooled, take the bottom of your cookie and spread a few teaspoons of the raspberry jam. You could also use blackberry or apricot if you would like to.
Top with the cookie that has the almond mixture. Enjoy your artwork. Isn't it just too pretty to eat? Well, almost.