I was so excited to discover this recipe, even more so when I took my first bite. This year at Thanksgiving we went up to Arkansas. While I was there; Brian's niece and her husband, who I love to death those two, had a tin of those danish shortbread cookies that you see around the holidays.
You know the ones that come in different shapes and three cookies fit into a single white cupcake liner. The very same tin, that when you open it after you've had it in your house a few days or so, are annoyed to find empty liners. The very same tin that your mother would use to hold buttons or thread, like her own mini sewing kit after all the cookies had been devoured. The very same tin, that long ago, used to have chocolate chip cookies and raspberry filled shortbread cookies. What?!
We had a long conversation about this. It's true, you can't find these two cookies in the tins anymore. It doesn't matter where you go, World Market, Target, Walmart, Sam's or Costco (economy size tins), Walgrees; nobody carries them. Not even Amazon! Yes, not even them.
Each member of your household always had a favorite cookie. You would see your parents have a cookie or two with coffee in the morning. Some liked the softer shortbread cookie shaped like a wreath with ridges. Some preferred the rectangle shaped cookie sprinkled with big pieces of sugar. How about the pretzel ones?!
I liked the ones filled with raspberry jam. This is going to sound weird, but I used to eat around the raspberry center and save the best for last. Like a little mouse nibbling on piece of cheese. Did you ever do that?
Well folks, these cookies taste exactly like the ones in the tins but even better because of the icing. You're welcome!
RASPBERRY ALMOND SHORTBREAD COOKIES
Adapted from Blue Flame Favorites
Makes 2 dozen
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup raspberry jam
1 cup, powdered sugar
1 teaspoon almond extract
3 to 4 teaspoons water
WARNING: Refrigerate dough for 1 hour prior to baking.
<creaming the butter and sugar>
Allow the butter to sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes.
Cut up the butter into tablespoon sized pieces (look at the wrapper for guidance).
Add the butter to the mixing bowl of your Kitchen Aid or stand mixer and use a paddle attachment.
Beat the butter on medium-low about 1 minute or until softened. (You can go up to medium, but don't stay there too long or the butter will heat up.)
Stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl and the paddle attachment.
Add the sugar to the butter, gradually, with the mixer on low speed.
Increase the mixer to medium speed and beat for about 1 to 2 minutes or until light and fluffy.
Stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl and the paddle attachment again.
<completing the dough>
Add the almond extract and blend well.
Add the flour, slowly into the batter. Mix until dough comes together.
Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill for at least 1 hour in the fridge.
<forming the cookies>
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
Shape the dough into 1-inch balls.
Place balls 2 inches apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper or lightly greased baking sheets.
Take a melon baller/fruit scoop to create an indentation in the center of each ball. Alternative method: Use your thumb.
Spoon about a 1/2 teaspoon of raspberry jam into each indentation.
<baking the cookies>
Bake for about 14 minutes or until edges are light brown.
Let stand on the cookie sheets for about 1 minute.
Transfer to wire racks to cool completely.
<making the icing>
Mix together powdered sugar, almond extract and 3 teaspoons of water in a small bowl.
Add more water if needed.
Drizzle cooled cookies with icing.
Don't be alarm when you are creating the indentations in the dough balls, the edges may crack slightly and that's okay.
If you decide to leave the dough in the fridge overnight, be sure to take the dough out about an hour before shaping the dough. It will be hard as a rock!
Make sure the cookies are completely cool before you drizzle the icing over it.
As I mentioned above, you could use your thumb to create the indentations. I prefer to use a melon baller. Gives me another excuse to have the silly gadget!