Friday, December 18, 2015

Apricot Sandwich Cookies



A random recipe in a magazine reveals this hidden gem. This is not quite the cookie in the recipe, but it is mine in a fashion. Why? Because I don't quite follow what I am told to do. I love the cookie dough for its simplicity, grateful that there isn't too much butter, sugar and eggs in it and love the aroma that wafts through the house as they bake. 

I say I'm not making cookies this Xmas. Recrimination sneaks up unawares, guilting me into baking. I blitz and pulse flour, sugar and butter. An egg gets the same treatment.  The not so clumpy dough gets a short stint in the fridge lets the dough cools and stiffens. This is an experiment with a different method of resting the dough. Rather than clump the entire dough I want to see if I can work small batches of dough for a better result. The dough needs to be handled as little as possible. When it's time to roll cookies, take dough out of the fridge. Gather a grapefruit sized ball of dough in your hands and press together to form a smooth ball. Pat into a circle on a floured surface. Lightly dusting the rolling pin, roll the dough and cut out small circles. They are going to make the perfect teatime bites.

Baked in a hot oven they emerge sandy brown and emanating a most inviting aroma. I melt apricot jam on a low flame. A teaspoon on a cooled cookie does the trick. Another cookie is pressed on top and so it goes. Soon there is plateful of cookie towers. Let's see how long they last counter top!

APRICOT SANDWICH COOKIES
Makes 24-28


2 cups all purpose Flour
1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon Sugar
1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt
1 1/2 sticks cold Butter
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla extract 
1 Egg, beaten well
Flour 
1 cup Apricot Jam
Confectioners Sugar


Put flour, sugar and salt in a food processor. Pulse to mix.

Cut butter into 1/2 inch cubes and scatter over flour. Pulse till the mix resembles small peas. 




Add vanilla and beaten egg to mix. Once again pulse 5-8 times. 




Scoop dough into a bowl, cover and refrigerate for an hour.

Sprinkle counter top with a dusting of flour.

Line 2 baking sheets with parchment or Silpat sheets.

Take dough out of the fridge. Gather a grapefruit sized clump of dough and knead lightly till smooth. Pat it into a circle and place over flour. 




Dust the rolling pin with flour and roll dough out to 1/4 inch thickness. You could go a little thinner once you are familiar with the dough. Using a 2 inch round cookie cutter, press out as many cookies as you can. Lay them on the sheet pans. Once again gather another clump of dough and repeat the process. You should have at least 48 circles and as many as 58. Use more sheet pans if you need to.






Heat oven to 350F.

Place sheet pans in the fridge till oven heats up.

Bake both sheet pans together for a total of 20 minutes. After 10 minutes switch pans and bake for an additional 10 minutes. Cookies should be sandy colored. Cool cookies on a rack.

Heat apricot jam in a saucepan over a low flame.

When cookies are cool, drop a scant teaspoon of jam on one cookie and sandwich with another. Repeat with the rest of the jam and cookies. 

Dust with confectioners sugar. Keep cookies in an airtight box if not eating right away. 


NOTES

You might not want to use all the dough. Keep dough in a plastic bag and refrigerate for 3 days. I made a few giant cookies with the extra dough.







Baking cookies are heavenly scent!! I see the merits of my experiment. It pays off as the cookies are lightly browned and crisp. G wanders in, sniffing his way to the treats. Tea and cookies ensue, as he makes a major dent in the cookie plate. He certainly 'nose' a good thing!!