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Holiday Countdown #5: Apricot Butter Cookies

By Jackie Burrell
Monday, December 6th, 2010 at 1:58 pm in Cuisine, holidays.

nonna_tell_me_a_story Last week, we tempted you with a book giveaway of Lidia Bastianich’s wonderful “Nonna Tell Me a Story” – and were just dastardly enough to tell you about those awesome little apricot butter cookies, but not provide the recipe. I know, I know, so mean. So here you go… Lidia’s cookies. (And if you still want to get your hands on that book, the giveaway has a few more days on it.)

ALMOND APRICOT BUTTER COOKIES
Makes 4 dozen

INGREDIENTS:
2½ cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
½ teaspoon vanilla
½ teaspoon almond extract
1/3 cup apricot preserves
1/3 cup slivered almonds, toasted

1. In a bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. In an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar until very pale and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Beat in egg and both extracts. At low speed, mix in the flour mixture just until a dough forms. Wrap the dough in plastic and chill until firm, about 1 hour.

2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Pinch off heaping teaspoon-size balls of dough and roll into balls. Place the balls on the cookie sheets, 2 inches apart, and flatten them slightly with the palm of your hand. Bake until puffed, but not browned, about 8 minutes.

3. Remove sheets from oven and carefully make a small crater in the middle of each cookie, using a teaspoon-sized measuring spoon. Fill each crater with ¼ to ½ teaspoon preserves and sprinkle a couple of slivered almonds in the preserves. Continue to bake cookies until they are golden brown on the bottom and edges, about 8 minutes more. Cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to racks and cool completely. Cookies can be made up to 3 days ahead. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

– Courtesy Lidia Bastianich, “Nonna Tell Me a Story” (Running Press, 56 pp., $15.95)

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