Monday, April 14, 2014

Daisy Cookies

by Nicola Buck Photography
I'm really excited about today's post because, as you can see from the great picture above, I had the pleasure to work with Nicola Buck, a professional photographer, who took these amazing photos of my cookies. She is truly brilliant. I love the way she was able to bring out all the details, from the buttery texture of the dough, to the sweet and colorful apricot preserve, to the whiteness and lightness of the powder sugar. Really impressive! These pictures just make you want to grab the cookie and take a bite, right from your screen ...  not advised :). She really made me realize there is so much for me to learn about photography. Well, with time all is possible, right?
I'm also exited to post this recipe because these have always been my favorite cookies: they remind me of those Sunday mornings when I was a child and used to go to the  pasticceria (pastry shop), and among the many pastries available, I always picked this sandwich cookie. I called them "margherite" which is Italian for "daisies", because of their flowery shape. So I kept this name!
I have never got tired of eating, and now baking, them. Here is the recipe for you!
And make sure to check out all of Nicola's pictures at the end of this post and her website

Ingredients to make about 14 sandwich cookies (mine are 3 inches in diameter):

  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons of milk
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 1/2 sticks of butter softened
  • 2 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • apricot preserve
  • powder sugar to decorate
Preparation time: About 30 minutes to prepare, 20 minutes to cook.

Step 1: In a large bowl, add the egg yolks, sugar, milk, vanilla extract and salt. Mix well until smooth.
Step 2: Stir in the butter.
Step 3: Last, add the flour one cup at the time and blend well.
Step 4: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line one or more baking sheets with parchment paper. Divide the dough in half. Roll out half of the dough on a floured surface to about 1/6 inch thick (about 4 mm). Cut into shapes with round cookie cutter. I always start by cutting the tops, so you can reuse the middle circle to make more cookies. Help yourself with a large spatula to move the cookies to the baking sheet.
Step 5: Cut the bottom with the remaining dough. I prepared about ten tops, and ten bottoms first and than did the rest.
Step 6: Bake for about 13 minutes (depending on how thick you actually made your cookies) until the edges are slightly golden. Don't cook too much or your cookies will be too crunchy.
Step 7: Let the cookies cool down. Spread the bottoms with apricot jam and top it to make the sandwich. As usual, sprinkle with powder sugar!
Just like the cookies I ate when I was a child!

Here are the rest of Nicola's pictures:


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