November 12, 2014
Name of Cookie: Chocolate-Apricot Sticky Middles (Mark named them)
Occasion: Because people like to bake cookies this time of year
Constituents: Almond cookies with thickened apricot preserves or blackberry jam and ganache centers
Disclaimer: I really dislike rolling and cutting out cookies. It's too much persnickety work and I am plenty satisfied with store bought cookies that I sandwich with nutella. If that means I have pedestrian tastes, then so be it.
Mark's mother has a tradition of baking Christmas cookies every year, so to Mark it isn't Christmas without a big cookie production. He told me I need to get used to rolling and cutting out cookies because Eliot needs this tradition too. I told Mark he is welcome to do this tradition with Eliot himself.
Eliot has a favorite book where Mama Owl invites Frog and Squirrel up to her nest for cookies, so when Mark told him I was baking cookies in case Frog and Squirrel came over, I was kinda obligated to bake the cookies. Plus, you know, the bake-through.
They are, in all respects, easy cookies to make. Everything gets mixed in the food processor and it goes really fast. First, almonds and powdered sugar are blended to a powder. Then a bunch of butter is added.
|pay no attention to the dirty dishes|
It will look like this:
Around now I was starting to wonder if we were sort of making our own marzipan.
Then you add half an egg and some vanilla.
The dough at this point is supposed to be moist and crumbly but mine looked moist and only just a little crumbly. The dough is then kneaded together, divided into quarters, shaped into discs, wrapped in plastic, and left to rest in the refrigerator for at least a couple of hours.
Then comes the part of cookie baking that I dread the most: the rolling and the cutting out. This dough is sticky, but when you roll it out using plastic wrap to protect your roller from tearing the dough, it really isn't that bad. Still, it just takes longer than I would prefer. I didn't have the right sized cookie cutter but a wine glass was pretty close, so that's what I used.
After the cookies bake and cool, it is time to fill them with ganache and apricot preserves. There is an option to use apricot lekvar which I had all intentions of doing, but this week was not a good week for projects. So I bought some jam and called it good. I failed to notice how much jam I would need and didn't have enough, but Mark suggested using the homemade blackberry jam our friends gave us, and that was really a great choice.
The jam gets boiled down to become a thick and sticky filling, hence Mark's name for these cookies.
These are good cookies, but I am not in love with them. They would have to be the most amazing thing on earth for me to feel they were worth all the rolling and cutting, and they are a good cookie but not the most amazing. People who enjoy making cookies will no doubt love these. People who enjoy eating cookies will no doubt love these. We have snacked on quite a few of them since yesterday as proof.
We have a recipe for you! Make these for your holiday situation! The recipe is posted up on Pastrygirl's blog, Dessert First.