This classic German recipe calls for dipping buttery almond-apricot sandwich cookies in bittersweet chocolate. The phenomenal results are well worth the effort.
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2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cubed
1 large egg, beaten
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
About 1/2 cup apricot jam
7 ounces almond paste
3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
5 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
24 walnut halves, toasted
How to Make It
In a food processor, pulse the flour with the granulated sugar and salt. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal with some pea-size pieces remaining. Add the egg and vanilla and pulse until the dough just comes together. Scrape out onto a work surface and pat into a disk. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate until chilled, about 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 350° and line 2 large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough 1/4 inch thick. Using a 2-inch round cookie cutter, stamp out cookies as close together as possible; transfer to the prepared baking sheets. Gather the scraps, re-roll and stamp out more cookies. You should have a total of 48.
Bake the cookies for about 20 minutes, until golden; rotate the baking sheets from top to bottom and front to back halfway through baking. Transfer to a rack to cool.
In a small saucepan, warm the jam over moderate heat, stirring, until runny, about 3 minutes. Brush a thin layer of jam on 24 of the cookies and top with the remaining cookies.
In a medium bowl, combine the almond paste with the confectioners’ sugar and knead until blended. Roll out the almond paste 1/8 inch thick between 2 sheets of parchment paper. Using a 2-inch round cookie cutter, stamp out 24 rounds. Brush the top of each cookie sandwich with another thin layer of jam and top with the rounds of almond paste.
In a microwave-safe bowl, heat the chocolate at high power in 30-second bursts until just melted. Stir until smooth. Dip the top of each sandwich cookie in the chocolate, just enough to coat the almond paste; transfer to the baking sheet. Top each cookie with a walnut half. Let the chocolate set before serving.
The cookies can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container between wax paper for up to 5 days.
Review Body: Not difficult but something of an arts and crafts project. I used a small heart shaped cookie cutter rather than a circular one. I heated the jam in the microwave for 30 seconds and then strained it before painting a thin coating between the layers. I melted the chocolate in the microwave for 30 seconds, stirred and then microwaved for 20 seconds more. I then adde an additional ounce of chocolate an stirred to melt it. I think that this tempers the chocolate somewhat and gives a glossy finish. Don't skip toasting the walnuts. It really makes a difference.