I haven't done much by the way of baking cookies last month. We had been traveling out of Goa on and off, and the hot summer isn't exactly encouraging me to do any baking! I had promised my daughter I would bake her lots of cookies during her vacation, but haven't really been able to keep that promise. Akshaya has just one week of summer vacation left before her school reopens, so I thought I should put this one week to good use, cookie baking wise.
I had bookmarked these cookies a while back because the accompanying picture really caught my attention. I finally got around to baking them a couple of days back. I made a few changes and ended up with some very pretty and equally tasty cookies.
I followed the original recipe initially, but found the resulting dough too crumbly to roll out, so I added some milk. I also used honey instead of corn syrup. Akshaya wanted strawberry preserves in her cookies so I made half of the cookies strawberry and the other half apricot. My version of the recipe is given below.
3/4 cup whole almonds
1 1/4 cups whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup sugar
3 to 4 tbsp chilled milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
For the chocolate glaze & filling:
1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate chips/ finely chopped chocolate
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon low-fat milk
1 1/2 teaspoons honey
1/3 cup apricot/ strawberry preserves
Finely grind the almonds in a blender. Put this in a bowl, along with flour, butter, sugar and salt and knead well into a dough. The dough will be a little dry. Now add the milk, 1 tbsp at a time, till the dough is of a texture that makes it easy to roll out and cut the cookies. The dough should still be on the drier side.
Divide the dough into 2 portions working first with one and then the other. Shape each portion into a ball and then roll out, between two sheets of parchment or wax paper, thick plastic sheets or even aluminium foil, till 1/8th" thick.
Cut out into approximately 2" cookies using cookie cutters of your choice. You may also cut out the centers of half the cookies. The dough is a bit delicate, so transfer the cut-out cookies carefully, using a metal spatula, onto a baking sheet. Repeat with the other portion of dough and also with scraps, after re-rolling them.
Bake cookies at 180 for about 10 to 12 minutes till slightly puffed up and the sides start browning. Carefully take them off the baking sheets and cool completely on a rack. You can store them in an airtight tin and proceed with filling them later if you prefer.
To decorate and fill the cookies:
Melt the chocolate and 1 tbsp of butter over hot water. Take it off the heat and stir in the milk and honey till smooth. Dip each cut-out cookie halfway in the chocolate allowing the excess chocolate to drip off. Place on a waxpaper/ foil lined tray and refrigerate till the chocolate sets (about 1/2 an hour).
Now spread a little bit of the strawberry or apricot preserves on the plain cookies and sandwich with the chocolate covered cut-out cookies.
This recipe makes about 2 dozen plain cookies.
These cookies go to my good friend, the Happy Cook who is hosting a Strawberry Fest. They also go to Mansi who is hosting SHF : Fruit & Nut.