June 1, 2009

Apricot and Strawberry-Almond Shortcake Hearts


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.



Ingredients:


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



Method:


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.




37 comments:

Parita said...

Cookies look delicious Aparna..very cute too!!

Happy cook said...

I love the heart shaped cookies and love tha they ae filled too.
Bookmarking this.
Thankyou for sending this to my event.

Curry Leaf said...

Cannot take my eyes off the pic Aparna.Grand cookies.Must try.

pigpigscorner said...

They are so pretty! Lovely presentation!

Soma said...

This is one awesome picture. Love the black white done naturally.

Love the cookies too.

marika @ madcap cupcake said...

Aparna, these cookies are adorable, not to mention totally delicious looking - I must try them!

Sunshinemom said...

Looks like a perfect balance of 'yin and yang'! Very pretty table set up:). How did you manage getting that inside the tea cup. Is it plain and dark chocolate? Cookies look delish!

Bharti said...

These are gorgeous! And lovely presentation and pictures.

Nags said...

love the cutlery. and the cookies :) so cute!

sra said...

They look lovely, Aparna! Exotic and symmetrical, too.

Rachel said...

Very pretty and artistically presented...

Ria said...

So cute!Loved the presentation!:)

Prathibha said...

OMG Aparna, the cookies and cutlery are really matching.....Looks yummy..

Pavithra said...

Thats so wonderful.. the presentation is superb.. the cookie and the cutlery mathches.. really so good to see. and the cookie is looking so fabulous and wish to have one.

di_ani said...

Great...
Greetings!

Manggy said...

It appears that the general consensus of the recipe on the website was that it was too dry! But you saved it, and very well! Very elegant presentation, and cute at the same time! :)

jayasree said...

Cookies look gorgeous with the matching cutleris. The second is superb. How did u manage inside the cup too? Lovely click.

Herrad said...

Hi Aparna,

What a dselicious blog really like it very much.

Have a good day and enjoy yourself.

Love,

Herrad

♥Rosie♥ said...

These are absolutely gorgeous Aparna!! Brilliant presentation :0)

newlyweds said...

Oh my these cookies are just too perfect, I love them!

Nithya Praveen said...

Perfect cookies Aparna.Looks wonderful,why dont u send this to Jugalbandi's click event?

Red Chillies said...

Looks very pretty, the shape, color and the filling. I am sure your daughter is super excited about this.

Cham said...

Love ur presentation, beautiful cookies!

Ramya Vijaykumar said...

Wow, the tea cup as well as you shortcake looks amazing!!! I love teh heart shaped shortcake!!! and the preserves in the middle is making me want for some now!!!

aquadaze said...

these cookies look yum...and i love the tea cup!!

ARUNA said...

these look gorgeous Aparna!

Ivy said...

The cookies sound delicious Aparna but the presentation is beautiful.

Susan said...

Mmmmm...Linzer cookies dipped in chocolate!
I "heart" them!

Aparna said...

Thank you very much for the lovely comments.

HC, I haven't sent you the details yet. Will do it soon.

Harini & Jayasree, the inside of the teacup is naturally coloured like that. Half white and half black.

Yes Mark. So I did my thing and it worked out thankfully.

Thank you, Herrad.

Nithya. thanks for the suggestion. That was my original plan, but I was having problems accessing their blog and didn't realise that I had missed the deadline. :(

She liked them, Supriya, but I think I was more excited with the way they looked!

Suparna said...

hey aparna,
These have turned out really beautiful, eye catching presentation!me too fell for the cutlery :)it's an interesting shortcake to make ..the dipped look is sure a heart stealer...yummm

sampada said...

Wow! those cookies sounds delicious...brilliant photo story...i would like to give it a try...uphere in U.S. i always have a hard time trying to find ingredients...one of my friend introduced me to a great resource www.myethnicworld.com and i thought that i pass great along as well.

FoodShoutOut said...

You have some great recipes on your site and it would be great if you could share them at FoodShoutOut.com
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Lien said...

Those cookies look so beautiful. Love the pictures in combination with the china! Great shots!

Mansi said...

wow, they look tremendously beautiful, and great blend of flavors! I love the second pic:)

btw, you could send these in for my SHF-Fruit & Nut event as they'd be a perfect fit!:)

Aparna said...

Thank you, Mansi, I will. I just never realised that they fit the SHF theme this month! :)

Fearless Kitchen said...

These are stunningly beautiful... your daughter is very lucky!

forkbootsandapalette said...

You have a super Blog. I too blog from Goa, though im a new blogger....