Twin Beaches Gallery. I thought I should share the recipe since I really owe a treat to my dear readers.
1 1/4 cups whole almonds
1 cup unsalted butter
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1/4 tsp cinnamon
Generous grind of black pepper
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp grated orange zest
Confectioner's sugar for dusting
1 cup pomegranate and raspberry jam
Blanch the almonds and remove the skins. Briefly dry in a 300 degree oven, but do not toast. Grind the nuts finely in a blender or food processor.
Beat butter and sugar together until light and creamy in texture.
Add eggs and and vanilla and beat until smooth.
In a separate bowl, combine nuts, flour, baking powder, spices and orange zest.
Add the flour to the butter mixture and thoroughly combine.
Form a ball with the dough, wrap in wax paper and chill in the fridge for a couple of hours.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Divide the dough into halves, and roll out one half on a generously floured board. Roll to approximately 1/8 inch thick.
Using a 2" round cookie cutter or a linzer cutter without the insert, cut out the cookies - there will be about 36. Place on parchment lined baking sheets and bake for about 8 minutes. Watch closely. Cookies should have just the slightest tinge of gold around the edges. These will be the bottom half of the cookie.
For the tops, roll out the other half of the dough to 1/8 inch thickness and cut out another 36 rounds, using either the linzer cutter with an insert, or the 2" cutter. If using the latter, go over the rounds a second time, using a much smaller cutter to create the opening. Again, place on parchment covered baking sheets and bake about 8 minutes as you did the first batch. (Any cut out and scraps can either be re-rolled or baked as is.)
When the cookies have cooled completely, arrange the tops neatly touching on waxed paper. Sift a dusting of confectioner's sugar over the tops.
Spread approximately 1 teaspoon of jam on each of the cookie bottoms. One by one, carefully lift and place the tops onto the bottoms. Give them a gentle press, but not so hard the jam squishes out the sides.
Cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to a week.