Saturday, May 8, 2010

Recipe: Cherry Almond Wedding Cookies

Hello, everyone!  I just realized that I have been remiss in not posting this on my baking blog (I originally had it on my family blog) and since I am making these for a dinner party tonight to honor the departure of a friend, I figured better now than never!

This recipe is a slight adaptation of one I gleaned from CookingLight.com and originally called for pistachios.  I'm not a fan of pistachios and they're a little expensive, so I used the next best thing: almonds!  And seriously, dried cherries are so great, they're like the original fruit snack.  I have to hide them from myself, they're so addictive and yummy.  I really hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do; it was delightful and weighing in at a mere 86 (roughly) calories per cookie, you don't feel so bad for eating more than just one!

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Cherry Almond Wedding Cookies
1 1/2 cups cake flour (about 6 ounces)
2/3 cup all-purpose flour (about 3 ounces)
1 1/4 cups powdered sugar, divided
2 tsp cornstarch
1/2 cup chilled butter, cut into small pieces
1 TBSP ice water
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract
1/2 cup dried tart cherries, chopped
1/4 cup finely chopped almonds
Parchment paper

1. Preheat oven to 350F and lay down some parchment paper on your cookie sheet.
2. Combine flours, 3/4 cup powdered sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a large bowl and whisk together.
3. Add in the butter and mash the flour mixture with the butter until the mixture closely resembles sand.
4. Combine 1 TBSP ice water, almond extract and vanilla in a small bowl.  Slowly add the ice water mixture until thoroughly combined. The mixture will remain crumbly.
5.  Add in the cherries and almonds and mix until combined.  Gently press mixture into a level tablespoon; pack lightly with the heel of your hand. Turn out onto the prepped baking sheet.
Repeat with remaining dough to form roughly 32 cookies.
4. Bake at 350° for 15 minutes or just until bottoms are golden. Remove from oven and cool 10
minutes on the baking sheet. 
5. Place remaining 1/2 cup powdered sugar in a large bowl. Add cooled cookies; toss gently to
coat with powdered sugar. Transfer cookies to wax paper or rack to cool completely.

Some food for thought...
  • Cutting the cherries into smaller bits is highly advised for two reasons: 1) it disperses them more throughout the cookies and 2) it stretches them further since dried cherries can be expensive ($8.99 a pound!).  But they can get sticky and difficult to cut.  Take a pinch of flour and thoroughly mix the cherries with the flour as you go through the cutting process.  It will make them less sticky and easier to work with!
  • This recipe was originally performed in a  food processor.  I don't have a large one, so my instructions are for mixing by hand.  I started by using a mixer, but it didn't really help, so I continued on by hand.  You may think you're not getting anywhere, but I promise, it really does come together in the end!
  • Because these cookies do not spread at all on the cookie sheet, you can put them very close together on the cookie sheet so as to bake with one sheet.  You may need to rotate the pan or extend your cooking time slightly though to ensure they are all cooked, though.

Bon appétit,
Kelly

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