Christmas Cookies: Almond Apricot

I bake. I don’t like it. But I do it. Cakes for birthdays. Pies at Thanksgiving. Biscuits for chowder. Cornbread for chilli. Banana bread for school snacks. Brownies for potlucks Chocolate chip cookies for…well let’s be honest, you don’t need a reason for chocolate chip cookies. That’s a lot of baking for someone who doesn’t like the precise nature of level spoons, shifting, and bringing eggs and butter to room temperature (or absolutely not doing that in certain circumstances). And yet…every year at Christmas I make dozens of cookies. It drives me crazy. Four hours for five types of cookies this year.

The worst part was my kiddos barely helped this year because I took a hard line decision against sugar cookies to decorate. No one actually eats them after they are covered with several pounds of royal icing in neon colours.

But from the darkness comes a beacon of light: THESE cookies from my absolute favourite site Serious Eats. I clearly had to convert them to Almond-Apricot Linzer cookies. Or at least my interpretation of them (along with my refusal to buy a specific Linzer cookie cutter so I guess they are just sandwich cookies?)

Almond Apricot Sandwich Cookies

  • 8 ounces unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup confectioner’s sugar, plus 1/2 cup more for coating
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder 
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt 
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 2 1/4 cups cake flour
  • 1 large egg
  • Apricot jam
  1. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle, beat butter, 1 cup confectioner’s sugar, and granulated sugar at medium speed until creamy, about 2 minutes. Add vanilla extract, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt and beat until well combined.
  2. Reduce mixer speed to low and add hazelnut flour, all-purpose flour, and egg to bowl and beat until dough comes together. Cover dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour. 
  3. Preheat oven to 375°F and adjust racks to upper-middle and lower-middle positions. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. You need more than one to help with the assembly line efficiency of removing one sheet from the oven and popping the next one in.
  4. Lightly flour a clean work surface. Roll out to 1/8 inch thickness.
  5. Bake for five minutes, rotate sheets. Bake for another 5 minutes. (We skipped this step on the last batch and it was truly disasterous.) Using a metal spatula, transfer cookies directly to wire racks.
  6. Once the cookies have fully cooled, sift remaining 1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar all over top cookies.
  7. Spread jam on half the cookies. I tend to use a spoon for this. I also tend to have the jam at room temperature not fridge-cold (Or are we the only ones that put our jam in the fridge?). Place the top cookies on each to complete the sandwich cookies. Dust with icing sugar.
  8. Eat…I mean, place in a parchment lined tin and save for guests and gifts.

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