Though this recipe calls for ground hazelnuts, almonds or pecans will work just as well. And the raspberry jam that sandwiches the rich nut dough can be changed to apricot, which would be just as good.
Total Timeunder 4 hours
Make Ahead RecipeYes
One Pot MealYes
OccasionBuffet, Casual Dinner Party, Family Get-together
Equipmentelectric mixer, food processor
Five Ingredients or LessYes
Taste and Texturebuttery, crisp, fruity, nutty, sweet
Type of Dishcookie
- 2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- 16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 4 ounces (about 1 cup) whole blanched almonds, finely ground in the food processor
- 1 cup seedless raspberry jam
- Confectioners’ sugar for sprinkling
- 2 or 3 cookie sheets or jelly roll pans covered with parchment or foil
In a bowl, combine the flour and spices; stir well to mix.
In the bowl of a standing electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together on medium speed the butter and sugar until soft and light, about 5 minutes. Lower the mixer speed and beat in the almonds and the flour and spice mixture, one at a time.
Remove the bowl from the mixer and use a large rubber spatula to finish mixing the dough. Scrape the dough onto a piece of plastic wrap and shape it into a rectangle about ½ inch thick. Wrap and chill the dough until it is firm, about an hour, or up to several days.
When you are ready to bake the cookies, set the racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees.
Cut the dough into three parts and refrigerate two of them. Place one third on a floured surface and flour it lightly. Press and pound the dough gently with a rolling pin to soften it, then roll the dough about ½ inch thick. Use a 2½-to 3-inch heart-shaped cutter (or any round one) to cut the dough. Place the cookies on the prepared pans, leaving about an inch around each in all directions. If you have a tiny heart-shaped cutter, use it to cut the center out of half the cookies, to make a “window” when they are sandwiched. Or use a small round cutter, or a pastry tube, or leave the cookies unpierced. Repeat with the remaining dough. Mass the scraps together and roll them once again to cut more cookies.
Bake the cookies for about 15 minutes, or until they are a very pale golden color. Cool them on the pans on racks.
While the cookies are baking, prepare the jam for the filling. Bring the jam to a simmer in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring occasionally. Let the jam reduce until it has thickened slightly, about 5 minutes.
After the cookies have cooled, dust the pierced cookies lightly with the confectioners’ sugar. Invert the nonpierced cookies and spread each with about ½ teaspoon of the reduced jam. Top with the pierced cookies, sugar side up. Use a small paper cone, a tiny spoon, or the snipped corner of a non pleated plastic bag to fill in the window of the cookies with more reduced jam.
Store the finished cookies between sheets of parchment or wax paper in a tin or plastic container with a tight-fitting cover.
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2000 Nick Malgieri