Friday, December 14, 2012

Award-winning cookie recipe

Here's a holiday gift for all, from kitchen of last night's Grand Prize Cookie Contest Winner Christina Wilsdon:

 I'm sending along the cookie recipe, as requested, for sharing. Thank you for awarding my contribution the Grand Prize and thanks for the gift certificate to Secret Garden! Now I can get a great book to read next time I sit down with cookies and milk :)

The recipe comes from the 2010 special issue "Holiday Cookies," published by America's Test Kitchen and Cook's Illustrated. I've amended it to incorporate what I did as I muddled through it....

Raspberry-Almond Cookies

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups slivered almonds
1 cup (or more) granulated sugar
16 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces and chilled
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup raspberry jam

1. Adjust oven racks to upper- and lower-middle positions. Heat oven to 350. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

2. Process 1 cup flour and almonds in food processor until finely ground, about a minute.

3. Add half a cup of sugar, the other cup of flour, and process til combined.

4. Add butter and vanilla; pulse until dough forms.

5. Roll dough out to 1/4 inch thickness on lightly floured surface.

6. Using a 2-inch round cookie cutter (or a similarly sized simple shape, such as a five-pointed star), cut out cookies. Place 2" apart on prepared baking sheets.

7. Bake til edges are light brown, about 15 minutes, switching and rotating sheets halfway through baking. Cool 5 minutes and then transfer to wire rack.

8. Put the remaining half cup of sugar (or more--I found it easier to use a whole cup for this step) into a bowl. Quickly, before the cookies cool off too much, spread 1 tsp jam on the bottoms of half the cookies and press them together with the other cookies to form sandwiches. Then gently roll them in the sugar to coat them. If you do this while they're warm, the sugar will stick to them very well.

9. You can gather and re-roll leftover dough scraps along the way, though you may need to chill it again if it gets too warm to handle and roll out properly.

10. Cool cookies completely on wire rack.

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