Almond Shortbread Cookies with Lemon Glaze

Almond Shortbread Cookies with Lemon Glaze

cookie dough:

  • 8 ounces almond paste, very cold or frozen
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, very cold or frozen
  • 1 1/2 cups fine almond flour
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 egg yolks, cold
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 8-10 teaspoons ice water
  • 1/2 cup chopped almonds

lemon glaze:

  • zest and juice of 1 small lemon
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
  • 1 tablespoon skim milk
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • sprinkles or yellow sanding sugar for garnish

 

Cut the butter and almond paste into chunks, place in a bowl and freeze for about 30 minutes to thoroughly chill.

In a large bowl (or a large food processor) combine the almond flour, all-purpose flour, powdered sugar and salt.  Sprinkle the cold pieces of butter and almond paste over the flour.  Use a pastry cutter (or pulse the food processor a few times) to incorporate the mixture - there should still be visible chunks of butter and almond paste, so don't over process.

Whisk together the egg yolks and vanilla, add to the dough, and gently work into the dough (at this point, I had to stop using my food processor because it wasn't big enough, and just used a bowl instead.)

Sprinkle the ice water over the dough, a few teaspoons at a time, working it into the dough quickly so that your hands don't warm the dough too much.  Once the dough holds together, neither too dry nor too sticky, sprinkle the chopped almonds over the dough and knead a few times to incorporate.

Divide the dough into two equal pieces.  If you want to bake cookies the next day, then roll each piece into a log, wrap tightly in plastic, and refrigerate overnight.  The cookies can then be sliced and baked when you have time.  Dough can also be kept in the freezer until ready to use.

To bake cookies right away, flatten each half of the dough into a disk.  Keep one out, and wrap the other in plastic and refrigerate until ready to use.  Roll the dough out, between two pieces of parchment paper, to a 1/4 inch thickness.  Use any shape/size cookie cutter (I used a simple 2-inch round cutter), to cut the cookies.  Place 1 inch apart on a baking sheet lined with a silpat or parchment paper (I fit 15 cookies on each baking sheet).  Roll out the scraps and repeat until all the dough is used up, trying not to overwork the dough.  Set the baking sheets in the freezer for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350.  Bake the cookies (straight from the freezer) for 12 minutes, until pale golden.  Cool for 1 minute on the baking sheet then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

To glaze the cookies, whisk together the lemon zest and juice, corn syrup, milk and powdered sugar until smooth.  Use a small, silicone pastry brush to brush about a teaspoon of glaze over each cooled cookie.  Sprinkle with sanding sugar before the glaze sets.  Let sit for about an hour to completely set the glaze.

Yields about 60 cookies, or 30 cookies, plus 1 tart/pie crust.

Note, this is a large recipe, and can easily be cut in half, but almond paste comes in 8-ounce cans, which is why I wrote the recipe to use the entire amount of almond paste.

 

From Curly Girl Kitchen.
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