Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Double Chocolate Layer Cake

I hope you all had a wonderful Holiday!
It's hard to imagine that on the heels of a major dessert holiday I was actually craving chocolate cake..but it's true! Plus I felt I needed a break from cookie baking and since we were hit with a snow storm yesterday, I can only shovel snow just so long before I feel the need to get back in the kitchen.
I wanted to find a really good chocolate cake and I searched til I came across this one from Gourmet from March 1999. It received lots of great reviews, and that made it my winning choice. Plus I wanted a cake that incorporated two ingredients that I felt made a great chocolate cake and those ingredients are buttermilk and coffee.
Now, as you can tell from the photo..I only made this into a single layer cake, even though it's called double layer. Just wanted to clear that up! When I make a recipe for the first time I sometimes make half the recipe..just in case it doesn't turn out as well as it should. But this one will definitely be doubled next time. It's that good!
I had to use what I had in the house for the semisweet chocolate that was melted with the hot coffee, so I used just chocolate chips. But, luckily, I had Ghirardelli unsweetened cocoa and that "saved" it.
It's a dense yet moist cake with a great chocolatey flavor. And the chocolate ganache icing..oh yes! Nothing like a great chocolate ganache to top a great chocolate cake!

First chop the chocolate, then melt it in hot coffee. Stir it til it is completely melted. Then set it aside.

In a large bowl, whisk (or sift) the sugar, flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt.

In a mixer bowl, beat the eggs til thick and slightly lemon colored, about 3 minutes if using a standing mixer or about 5 minutes with a hand held mixer.
Slowly add oil, buttermilk, vanilla and melted chocolate.

Then add the flour/sugar mixture and beat on medium til just combined well.

Pour batter into your prepared pans and bake in the middle of your oven one hour to one hour 10 minutes, or til tester comes out clean. The oven temperature is low at 300 so don't worry about the length of time this cake takes to bake..it needs that much time!

I rapped mine on the counter a few times to get some of the air bubbles out of it before putting in the oven.

To make the ganache, boil the heavy cream, sugar and corn syrup, stirring til the sugar dissolves. Then remove it from the heat and add the chocolate.

Once that is nice and smooth, add the butter pieces.
Continue to whisk til it's smooth.

I put the ganache on the cooled cake right away because I only had a single layer and it was going on the top only, plus I wanted it to drip down the sides a bit.
But for a double layer, chill the ganache for a stiffer, more spreadable consistency.
Double Chocolate Layer Cake ( from Gourmet March 1999)

This recipe makes a 2 layer cake but I found that you really need your 10" cake pans to have 2" high sides because the cake rises quite a bit and will spill over while baking if your pans aren't high enough. I found this out the hard way! (Or you can use 3 cake pans, filling each only barely halfway up and shortening the baking time, making it a three layer cake.)

3 oz. fine quality semisweet chocolate
1 1/2 cup hot brewed coffee
3 cups sugar
2 1/2 cups AP flour
1 1/2 cups cocoa powder ( not Dutch process)
2 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1 1/4 tsp. salt
3 large eggs
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups well shaken buttermilk
3/4 tsp. vanilla
Ganache Icing:
1 lb. semisweet chocolate, chopped into small pieces
1 cup heavy cream
2 tbsp. sugar
2 tbsp. light corn syrup
1/2 stick unsalted butter
Preheat oven to 300. Grease 2 or 3 ten inch cake pans, then line with waxed paper and grease the waxed paper.
1. Finely chop chocolate and in a bowl, combine it with the hot coffee. Let it stand til melted and smooth. Set aside.
2. Into a large bowl, sift sugar, flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
3. In mixing bowl, beat eggs til thick and slightly lemon colored, about 3 minutes with standing mixer or about 5 minutes with hand held mixer.
4. Slowly add oil, buttermilk, vanilla and melted chocolate mixture to eggs, beating til well combined.
5. Add sugar/ flour mixture and beat on medium speed til just combined well.
6. Pour batter among pans and bake in middle of oven for one hour to one hour, 10 minutes, or til tester comes out clean.
7. Let cake cool in pans completely, then run a knife along sides to loosen and layer with icing.
1. Bring heavy cream, syrup and sugar to boil in heavy saucepan stirring til sugar dissolves.
2. Remove from heat and add chopped chocolate, whisking til melted.
3. Cut butter into small pieces and whisk into chocolate mixture.
4. Transfer mixture to bowl and chill til a spreadable consistency.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Maple Walnut White Chocolate Chip Cookies

This recipe is one of the others I pulled out of my old recipe file along with the potato chip cookie from my last post. I hadn't made this cookie before..I'd have remembered this one!

This cookie has crisp edges and a wonderful chewy center and they get nice and crackly on top. You can really taste the maple syrup and with the brown sugar it really brings out the flavor...just remember to use a good quality maple syrup..and, please, not pancake syrup!
I wanted to try chocolate chips and the white chocolate chips called for in the original recipe so I divided the dough in half and put half chocolate and half white chocolate. But now that I tasted both..I can't decide. I love them both!
There's little butter in these, too, which is always a good thing!
Oh and..sorry about the different first picture. When I began this post and looked over my photos I realized I never took a final "pretty" shot. Too late..cookies all gone!

These are easy to make, too. Just beat the butter, sugar and syrup til well incorporated.

Add the egg and vanilla and beat til smooth.
Mix the dry ingredients together in a medium bowl and add to the creamed mixture.
Then stir the chips and nuts in by hand or briefly in your mixer.

Drop spoonfuls onto a greased baking sheet and flatten slightly.
Bake 10 to 12 minutes or til top appears crackled and the center is still a little moist.

Maple Walnut White Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes approx. 2 dozen cookies
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar ( I used light)
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla ( or maple extract
1 1/2 cups AP flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 cup white chocolate chips
3/4 cup chopped walnuts ( I used toasted walnuts)
Preheat oven to 350. Spray baking sheet with veg. oil spray.
1. In mixing bowl, beat butter, sugar and maple syrup til well incorporated.
2. Add the egg and vanilla and beat til smooth, scraping bottom and sides of bowl with spatula.
3. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and salt and add to creamed butter mixture.
4. Stir in the chips and walnuts by hand or briefly in your mixer.
5. Drop rounded teaspoonfuls of dough onto the greased baking sheet spacing 3" apart and flatten each slightly.
6. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or til tops appear crackled and the center is still a little moist.
Note: You don't want to overbake them because they may get too dry and you want to keep that nice chewy center.
7. Let them cool just long enough on the baking sheet til you can transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Potato Chip Cookies

I'm continuing to go through my old recipes and I remember baking these about a year ago..and I forgot how delicious they were!
They're buttery and crunchy and nutty and they'd make a great addition to your Christmas cookie line up!

I used ripple style kettle cooked potato chips so they have a crunchier bite and I prefer them to a regular potato chip for just that reason. And they're harder than a regular chip so they hold up better, once baked, in the cookie.

This cookie is an easy one to make and for the little effort involved, you'll be rewarded with a buttery crunchy sweet and salty cookie.
I don't actually crush the potato chips. Rather, I chop then a little to make sure they don't all wind up in little crushed bits.

Then chop the pecans well but not too finely.

When you add the potato chips into the dough, don't mix it too much. This will keep the chips from breaking too much more.

Scoop the dough and place onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Then press each ball of dough with the bottom of a glass or your fingertips.

Potato Chip Cookies
Makes about 2 dozen

1 cup unsalted butter, room temp.
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 2/3 cup AP flour
1/2 tsp. sea salt or table salt ( I cut this down to 1/4 tsp. because my chips were very salty)
1 tsp. vanilla
1 generous cup potato chips, crushed or chopped but not to crumbs!
1/2 cup pecans, chopped between coarse and fine
Confectioners' sugar, for dusting
Preheat oven to 350. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
1. Beat the butter and sugar well, about 2 minutes.
2. Add in the vanilla and beat til blended.
3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and salt and add to the creamed butter mixture, mixing well.
4. Stir in the chips and nuts, being careful not to overmix in the chips so they don't crumble too much.
5. Usingf a small cookie scoop or a teaspoon, scoop dough by teaspoonfuls onto parchment lined sheet.
6. Flatten each with the bottom of a glass or your fingertips, keeping them spaced about 2" apart.
7. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, checking after 10 minutes. (They should be a light golden brown along the edges.)
8. Let them cool a few minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer to a wire rack and while still slightly warm dust with confectioners' sugar ( or coat completely if you like a sweeter cookie.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Christmas Sugar Cookies

So the countdown begins..the last days before Christmas..the crazy days of shopping, decorating..and, of course, baking!
And what would the Holidays be without the decorated Christmas Sugar Cookies.
Well, I cheat and decorate with colored sprinkles so if you're pressed for time and want to include some of these fun and colorful cookies into your cookie repertoire, then these are for you.
Now I know sugar cookie recipes are everywhere and you're probably thinking, wow, how exciting.. a sugar cookie. But I just want to share this recipe with you. It's out there in cookierecipeland for all the world to find..but so are so many others and if you're wondering which recipe makes the best sugar cookie..well, I've done my usual experiments for you.
I tried Martha Stewart's basic sugar cookie recipe, and it was good, don't misunderstand. Then I tried another one that sounded good called an old fashioned sugar cookie and it was good also..but I wanted great! The sugar cookie is so basic a cookie that the best has to have a flaky texture and a wonderful flavor and, I think, in my humble opinion, that this one has all that.
So, here's the recipe. It's from Land o' Lakes and I believe they call it a butter cookie, or so they should because..they mostly make butter ( little known fact!Ha!) and the recipe has double the butter of Martha's recipe. Which makes for a buttery delicious cookie.
Sugar Cookie ( or Butter Cookie) (adapted from Land O' Lakes)
Makes about 5 dozen, depending on size
1 cup ( 2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temp.
1 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
2 tbsp. orange juice
1 tbsp. vanilla
2 1/2 cups AP flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt ( this is my addition)
1. In a large bowl, mix together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
2. Combine butter and sugar in a mixing bowl and beat on medium speed til creamy.
3. Add the egg and beat til incorporated.
4. Add orange juice and vanilla and beat til well combined.
5. Add the flour mixture and beat on low speed til well mixed.
6. Divide dough into thirds and wrap each section in plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 2 to 3 hours or overnight preferred.
7. Preheat your oven to 400.
8. Once the dough has firmed up nicely, roll it out on a lightly floured work surface ( I always roll between 2 pieces of plastic wrap so I use less flour). You will need to sprinkle the dough from time to time with flour to prevent sticking.
9. Cut out your shapes ( rerolling and cutting scraps) and decorate with sprinkles ( if using) and place them on an ungreased baking sheet, spacing at least 1" apart.
10. To assure the shapes don't spread too much, place the baking sheet of cookies into the freezer for approx. 10 minutes. And make sure your oven's up to the correct temperature before putting in the cookies.
11. Bake for 6 to 7 minutes or til just beginning to brown lightly on the edges. The bottom's should be a light golden brown. Let them stay on the baking sheet for about 2 or 3 minutes, then transfer carefully to a wire rack to cool completely.
I would store these cookies in a cookie tin to keep them crisp.

Thursday, December 16, 2010


I feel I should really have titled this post, "Pfeffernusse..my version". I know I must have tasted this cookie before but it was so long ago that I can't remember whether it's supposed to be hard..the other name for it is Pepper Nuts, after all! Or should it be more cake-like, or more like the Mexican Wedding Cookies? And don't think I didn't visit as many local bakeries as I could to buy one to sample, only to be asked..pepper..what?!
So, I was left on my own to experiment with various recipes..and experiment I did. I baked three different recipes, one cookie came out flat as a pancake! The others? Well, let's just say I wouldn't make them again and leave it at that. ( And with all the trials and errors I just gave up on step by step photos).
But this recipe came out great. I made a few adjustments, added a few more spices, more black pepper and baked the first batch just to test it.
Then I actually put the dough, covered, in the fridge and left it there a few days..(well kind of forgot about it actually while I moved on to other cookie recipes). So today I realized I had better make the rest of these pfeffernusse to show you. I think the rest in the fridge really may have helped intensify the spice flavor. The cookies did come out more cake-like than hard. The combination of warm spices with just enough sweetness in the cookie as well as the confectioners' sugar coating makes it one good cookie!

I let the dough sit out on the counter for about 30 minutes til it softened slightly, then I formed small balls and put them on the ungreased baking sheet about 1" apart.

After they're baked, let them cool enough to handle, then roll them in confectioners' sugar to coat well.

Pfeffernusse ( adapted from a little here and a little there)

Makes about 3 dozen
2 1/2 cups AP flour
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
generous 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
3/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. allspice
1/4 tsp. ginger
1/8 tsp. cloves
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. cardamom
1/2 cup unsalted butter ( 1 stick), room temp.
3/4 cup brown sugar ( I used light brown)
1/4 cup molasses
1 egg
Confectioners' sugar for dusting
1. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt, and spices.
2. In a mixing bowl, beat butter, sugar and molasses til light and fluffy, about 4 minutes.
3. Beat in the egg til well incorporated, scraping bottom and sides of bowl.
4. With mixer on low speed, beat in the flour mixture.
5. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and place in the fridge for several hours (or a few days).
6. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350.
7. Let the dough come up to room temp. while the oven's preheating, then form dough into small balls, about 1 1/4" in size.
8. Place on baking sheet, spacing about 1" apart ( they don't spread but they do get a little bigger when baked).
9. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, they should be slightly brown on the bottom.
10. Cool a minute on the sheet, then transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool a little more, then dust liberally with confectioners' sugar.
Store cookies in a cookie tin.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Fruit and Nut Cookies

I came across this recipe in my Christmas cookie file and apparently made it once before because I noticed some notes I made about it. In part of my note I wrote that these cookies were very good! (Some description!)
The recipe comes from King Arthur Flour ( probably from their site), so you know it has to be good. I did make some changes though. Starting with the name, which I changed from Fruit and Oats Cookie. The original recipe calls for white whole wheat flour and because I didn't have any in the house, I used part whole wheat and part AP flour and the results were fine. Also, the recipe didn't call for any spices so I added a little cinnamon.
There are so many add -ins that perhaps they felt the extra spices weren't needed but I like lots of flavor and I think the addition of cinnamon tasted great. And speaking of add-ins, you can add pretty much whatever you like from any dried fruit ( I even threw in some dates) to any kind of nut you prefer.
This cookie would be great on a Holiday tray..and the "secret"ingredient in this one..apple cider vinegar!

Place the sugars, butter and vegetable shortening in a mixing bowl and beat together to combine.
Then add the vanilla and salt.
Add the apple cider vinegar and the egg.

Combine the dry ingredients in a medium bowl...

And add in to the mixture, mixing on low speed to blend well.

Combine the fruits and nuts in a small bowl...

And stir them into the mixture.

Scoop heaping tablespoonfuls of batter onto a parchment lined baking sheet spacing about 2" apart.
Bake for about 12 minutes.

Fruit and Nut Cookies ( adapted from King Arthur Flour)

Makes about 2 dozen ( depending on size)

1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1 cup brown sugar ( light or dark, I used light)
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
3/4 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. cider or white vinegar ( I used apple cider )
1 large egg
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 3/4 cups King Arthur white whole wheat flour ( I used 1 cup AP flour and 3/4 cup whole wheat flour)
1 cup quick cooking oats
3 cups combination of dried fruits and nuts of your choice ( the recipe also said to use chocolate chips or chunks but I chose to omit these).( I used dried cranberries, dried cherries, a few chopped dates, raisins, walnuts and pecans.)
Preheat oven to 350. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
1. In a mixing bowl, beat the butter, veg. shortening and sugars til light and fluffy.
2. Beat in the vanilla and salt.
3. Beat in the egg.
4. In a medium bowl, combine the flour(s), baking soda, cinnamon ( if using) and oats.
5. Beat this mixture into dough on low speed.
6. Stir in the add-ins, mixing well to combine.
7. Scoop the dough by heaping tablespoonfuls onto baking sheet spacing about 2" apart ( they don't spread much). (Note: It helps to form the cookie into a slightly rounded shape and flatten the top gently to prevent it from becoming too thick during baking.)
8. Bake 12 to 13 minutes or til the edges are beginning to turn light brown. Cool on sheet a few minutes, then transfer to wire to cool completely.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Chocolate Spice Cookies..Mostaccioli

I seem to have a thing for chocolate and wine combinations in cookies! I made these not too long ago, and they were great.
But when I saw recipes for this unusual Italian cookie, Mostaccioli, I have to admit, I was intrigued. Apparently this cookie has many variations, I assume, depending on which region of Italy the recipe is from. After checking out the many variety of recipes, I decided on this one because it's adapted from Nick Malgieri's book, "Great Italian Desserts"..and I love his recipes.
The ingredient list alone is complex and unusual. Honey is basically the main sweetener with molasses, spices and, lastly, wine added in to make this chewy, spicy and definitely addictive cookie delicious. And there's no butter or egg used in the recipe, a welcome change for me, at least!
The last step, brushing on a glaze, adds a little sweetness to the cookie and helps keep the cookie chewy.
It's definitely an adult cookie. The wine flavor really comes through. I used a Merlot, since the recipe didn't specify which variety of red wine to use. I urge you to give these a try. They get better with age...like the wine added! Just keep them in an air tight cookie tin. You'll have 'em guessing.. what's in these?
First, sift the cocoa powder into the mixing bowl.

Then to this add the flour, sugar, ground almonds, spices and baking soda.

Once all those ingredients are in the mixing bowl, mix them for a little bit just to combine.

Then add the honey...

Molasses and wine...

And mix all this til smooth to make a sticky dough. Use a rubber spatula to be sure to get it all mixed through, sides and bottom.

Scoop this into a small bowl, cover and refridgerate for 30 minutes. ( I kept mine in for about 2 hours and it was fine.)
Once it's chilled, preheat your oven to 325.
Turn the dough out onto a generously floured surface and pat into a rectangle about 1/4" thick. ( Mine were between 1/4" and 1/2" thick).
Flour the dough lightly and roll over it once or twice with a rolling pin to even it out.
Then using a pizza cutter or sharp knife, cut into 2" squares. Wipe off any excess flour from the top with a pastry brush.
Then transfer the squares to a parchment lined baking sheet.

Space them about 2" apart.

Once they're baked, let them sit for a minute, then lift the parchment with the cookies on it and place on a wire rack.
While the cookies are still warm, stir together the confectioners' sugar and water in a small bowl til it's smooth, then brush on the glaze to the warm cookies. Brush again a second coat after a minute or two.
Chocolate Spice Cookies ( adapted from here from Nick Malgieri's book "Great Italian Desserts")

1/2 cup natural( not Dutch process) cocoa powder
2/3 cup AP flour
1/4 granulated sugar
1/2 cup finely ground almonds
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. cloves
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup molasses
1/4 cup dry red wine ( or water)
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1/4 cup water
1. Into a mixing bowl, sift cocoa powder.
2. Add flour, sugar, almonds, cinnamon, cloves and baking soda. Mix lightly to combine.
3. Add honey, molasses and wine. Mix til a smooth sticky dough forms.
4. Allow to stand 1 minute to absorb the liquid, then cover and refridgerate for 30 minutes.
5. Preheat the oven to 325. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
6. Turn the dough out onto a generously floured work surface. Pat into a rectangle approx. 1/4" thick ( Mine were between 1/4" and 1/2" thick). Flour the dough lightly and roll over it once or twice with a rolling pin to even it out.
7. Cut the dough using a pizza cutter or sharp knife, into 2" squares. With a dry pastry brush, wipe off any excess flour.
8. Transfer the squares to the baking sheet spacing about 2" apart. Bake for 15 minutes.
9. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and let the cookies sit for a minute. Then lift the parchment with the cookies on it, and place on a wire rack.
10. While the cookies are still warm, make the glaze by stirring the confectioners' sugar and water together til smooth, then brush the glaze onto each cookie top. After a minute or two, brush on another coat of glaze. Allow the cookies to cool completely, they will remain chewy on the inside.
Note: These cookies stay best in an airtight cookie tin.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Linzer Cookies

Making cookies this time of the year can be stressful. So many different cookie types of make and coordinating your baking so you don't make the cookies too far ahead of when you're going to be giving them.
This is why I love cookies like these Linzer Cookies. They are so pretty and you can cut them out in any shapes you like, cut a decorative hole ( or two) out of the center, fill, sprinkle with powdered sugar and you're finished!
Now I know I've made that whole process seem like it takes no time at all..but with planning, you can prepare the dough ahead of time and just cut them out when you're ready.

Linzer cookies can be made with almonds, as these are, or you can use hazelnuts or even pecans. It just depends on which nut you prefer. You can also vary the filling, using..how about a chocolate filling with hazelnuts or even switching out the raspberry jam for another flavor.
This particular recipe uses cake flour which makes these cookies a bit more delicate.
Anyway you make them, one thing's for sure, they're delicious.
If I could give you one tip to making these, it would be to roll these cookies out thinly. Between 1/8" and 1/4" is perfect, in my opinion. Because the cookie is sandwiched, you're going to have two cookies stacked and you want them to be fairly delicate and light. If they're too thick, then it looses that nice light flaky quality. ( Did any of that make sense?!)
Whisk your dry ingredients in a medium bowl, then set it aside for a minute.

In a mixer bowl, cream the butter and sugar til light and fluffy.

In a small bowl, place the egg, yolk, lemon zest and vanilla.

Grind the nuts with a little bit of your sugar in the food processor to make them fine.

Add the egg mixture to the creamed butter mixture and beat well.
Then add the nuts and mix well.
Then add the flour mixture, adding in small batches til combined.
Place half the dough onto plastic wrap...

And roll to the 1/8" - 1/4" thickness, between 2 pieces of plastic wrap.
Chill the dough for an hour or two. Then at this point, you can just keep it in the fridge, covered well, til you need it or cut out your shapes ( half with a decorative center cut out).
Preheat the oven to 350 and place the cut out shapes about 2" apart on parchment lined baking sheets.
Bake, then cool completely on wire racks before filling.

Place about one teaspoonful of jam onto each cookie bottom, then top with the other cookie with the cut out center.

Once you've sandwiched the two cookies, take a little more jam and place in the cut out section just to make it look more full and prettier!
Then dust with powdered sugar. You can pop them back into the fridge to help them set a bit.
Linzer Cookies (from "Culinaryinthedesert")

3 1/3 cups very finely ground almonds ( or other nut you'd like)( Also I toasted mine before grinding to bring out more flavor)
3 1/3 cups unsifted cake flour
1 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg ( freshly ground is best)
1 1/2 cups unsalted butter-softened
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1 tsp. lemon zest
1/2 tsp. vanilla
Raspberry jam or Nutella (or another flavor you'd prefer)
Confectioners' sugar for dusting
1. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg. Set aside.
2. In a mixer bowl, cream the butter and sugar til light and fluffy.
3. Place the egg, yolk, zest and vanilla in a small bowl, then add to the creamed mixture and beat well.
4. Blend in the ground nuts.
5. Add the flour mixture, one cup at a time beating til just combined. (Scrape the bowl on the sides and bottom from time to time to be sure to get all the dough incorporated.)
6. Divide the dough into 2 pieces and place on plastic wrap. Roll each between 2 pieces of wrap to 1/8" to 1/4" thickness. Chill dough for 1 to 2 hours. Or wrap well to bake at a later time.
7. Preheat oven to 350 and cut out shapes from the cold dough, placing cookies on baking sheets back in fridge if they get too soft or your oven's not up to temp. yet.
8. Bake approx. 12 minutes, or til edges are golden.
9. Once the cookies have cooled completely, spread a teaspoonful ( depending on the size of your cookie) of filling onto the bottom cookie. Then layer with the other cookie and fill a little bit of filling into the center space. Sprinkle with confectioners' sugar.
I'd store these cookies in a tin or in the fridge, covered well or in a zip lock bag.


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