Friday, June 12, 2015

Chocolate Dipped Almond Sandwich Cookies

Buttery almond cookies, sandwiched with apricot preserve and dipped in sinfully creamy chocolate. 
Not only delicious but super easy to make - no rolling pin or cookie cutter required
What more could you want in a cookie? 
And so it begins! Summer with the kids. No school and NO summer camps. Yes, you heard me!
No. Summer. Camps.
Some of my friends think I'm crazy spending the whole day, every single day for the next two months with the kids. But I love it! I really enjoy spending  time with them, and I should really savor these moments, now that they are young ... and still like to spend time with me :)
You might ask, what's the secret to keep my sanity for the rest of the summer? Easy, outdoor spaces. Yes, I don't (and cannot!) stay in the house for too long. Outdoor activities are a must, at least with the amount of energy of my boys. I have the beach at my door steps... well, not really, but it's pretty close. I have the pool. Great weather (for the most part). And lots of friends to spend time with.
And for those few occasions, like the other day when it rained,  and we were stuck at home, we bake!
Baking or cooking with the kids can be a lot of fun. And the cookies that I made this week are perfect. Made from scratch, but quite easy to do. No rolling pin or cookie cutters required. Just mix the ingredients, roll the dough with your hands and bake. As soon as the cookies cool off a bit, spread with preserve, and dip in melted chocolate. Maybe this last part might need some supervision, or those little fingers might get burned.

Once the chocolate cools down and hardens a bit, these cookies are ready to be devoured. And make sure to enjoy every single crumb. Soooo buttery, nutty, fruity and chocolaty. What more could you want in a cookie?!?

Ingredients to make 24 sandwich cookies:                                            PRINTABLE RECIPE
  • 1 egg plus 2 egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup (150 gr) of sugar
  • 6 oz (170 gr) of salted butter*, softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1.5 cups (150 gr) of almond meal
  • 2 cups (250 gr) of all-purpose flour
  • about 1/2 cup of apricot preserve, (or also raspberry, plum, peach or orange)
  • 1 cup (150 gr) of semi-sweet or milk chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) of heavy whipping cream 
* If  using unsalted butter, add a pinch of salt
Preparation time: About one  hour

Directions:
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 350° F (175° C). In a large bowl combine the egg and two egg yolks with the sugar and mix well, with a blender or food processor if you like, until light and fluffy.

Step 2: Add the butter (soften at room temperature), vanilla extract and salt (if using unsalted butter). Mix well again.

 Step 3: Add the almond meal and about half of the all-purpose flour. Blend

Step 4: Add the remaining flour, while mixing. Check the consistency of the dough. It needs to be slightly soft and a bit sticky. Add a little more flour if too soft.

Step 5: Line with parchment paper a baking sheet (or more than 1 if you have them, so you don't need to wait for the first batch to cook!). Roll small balls of dough in your hands. Try to make them all about the same size. Flatten them out with your palm or fingers. You should be able to make about 48 cookies.

Step 6: Bake in the middle of the oven at 350° F (175° C) for 15-18 minutes or until slightly golden around the edges. If you are baking two cookie sheets in the oven at the same time, make sure to switch position at about half time, so both batches cook evenly. You might need to add one extra minute to compensate for the crowded oven.

Step 6: Let the cookies cool down for a few minutes. Spread the apricot preserve on half the cookies, and make sandwiches.

Step 7: Boil one inch of water in a medium size sauce pan. In an oven-safe bowl, add the chocolate and place the bowl in the hot water. Turn the heat down to a simmer. Add the whipping cream, and stir well, until the chocolate is all melted. Turn off the heat, but leave the bowl in the hot water so the chocolate stays warms and melted. Dip each cookie halfway in the chocolate. Place it again on the parchment paper to cool off and until the chocolate hardens.



 Enjoy :)








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