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Almond Cookies with Chocolate Glaze picture

Almond Cookies with Chocolate Glaze

These almond cookies are Austrian in origin, and are the perfect special occasion cookie. They take some time to prepare but are beautiful on the plate and delectable on the palate.

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Ingredients

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup sliced almonds
  • 10 tablespoons (5 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into small cubes, at cool room temperature
  • 2/3 cup confectioner’s (powdered) sugar
  • 1/2 cup raspberry preserves, well stirred
  • For the chocolate glaze:
  • 5 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons hot brewed coffee
  • 2 tablespoons hot water
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • For garnish: 1 tablespoon very finely chopped shelled pistachios

Makes 12 to 15 Cookies

  1. First, make the dough for the cookies. In the bowl of a food processor combine the flour, almonds and a pinch of salt. Process until the nuts are finely ground.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer (or use a handheld mixer), beat the butter on high speed until smooth. Turn the speed to low and beat in the sugar.
  3. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the almond/flour mixture to make a stiff dough.
  4. Turn the dough out onto a clean work surface and divide it in half. Gather each half into a disk and wrap with plastic wrap. Refrigerate the dough for at least 30 minutes or until firm.
  5. Position 2 oven racks in the center and top third of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350F (375F if baking above 5000 feet.) Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  6. Lightly flour your work surface and then roll out one of the disks of dough. (See video, "Rolling Pastry" for demonstration.) Keep the rolling pin and surface of the dough lightly floured so the dough doesn’t stick. Roll the dough to a 1/8-inch thickness.
  7. Using a 2-inch to 2 1/2-inch round cutter, cut out as many circles as you can from the dough and place them on the prepared baking sheet, about 1-inch apart. Gather up the scraps of dough and set aside to re-roll later. Repeat with the second disk of dough.
  8. Gather all scraps and gently knead together to form a ball. Roll out to a thickness of 1/8-inch and cut as many more circles as possible (you should have 24 to 30 total.)   
  9. Bake until the cookies are golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes, rotating the baking sheets and switching rack positions halfway through baking.
  10. Cool for 2 minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  11. When cool, spread about 1 teaspoon of the raspberry preserves on the flat side of one cookie, and then make a sandwich by topping the preserves with the flat side of a second cookie. Repeat with remaining cookies. Place the cookie sandwiches, about 1-inch apart, on a wire rack set over a baking sheet.
  12. Make the glaze by placing the chocolate, coffee and water in the top part of a double boiler set over barely simmering water. (Alternatively, place the ingredients in a bowl that fits over the mouth of a saucepan. Bring a small amount of water to a simmer in the saucepan and place the bowl over the top.)
  13. Stir continuously until the chocolate melts. Whisk in the butter and then remove from heat.
  14. Using a small ladle or spoon, spoon the chocolate over the cookies. Use a small spatula to smooth the chocolate over the top and around the sides, if you like.   
  15. Sprinkle a pinch of pistachios in the center of each cookie. Refrigerate until the glaze sets, about 30 minutes.
  16. Store the cookies in an airtight container in the refrigerator, with layers separated by waxed or parchment paper.

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