Almond-Chocolate Spritz Cookies

almond spritz cookies
This delicious recipe, a twist on the holiday cookie favorite, was recommended to us by Cindy Mushet, its creator. Cindy is an expert baker, cooking teacher and author of The Art and Soul of Baking.
Recipe By: Love 'n Bake
  • PrepN/A |
  • TotalN/A |
  • ServesAbout 7 dozen, 1 1/2-inch cookies

Ingredients

  • For the Dough:
  • For the Filling:
    • 2 ounce semi sweet chocolate, finely chopped
    • 1 tablespoon heavy whipping cream

Instructions

Mix the Dough: Place the almond paste and sugar in the bowl of the stand mixer or food processor). Beat on medium speed for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes (or process for 45 seconds), until the almond paste is broken into tiny pieces. Add the butter and continue to beat for another 2 minutes (or process for 1 minute), until mixture is well blended and slightly lighter in color. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with the spatula. 

Add the egg and yolk and blend well (or process for 15 seconds). Add the orange blossom water and beat another 15 seconds to blend (or process for 5 seconds). Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the flour and salt. Turn the mixer to the lowest speed and blend slowly (or process fro 10 to 15 seconds), just until there are no more patches of flour. Remove the bowl and stir gently a few times with the spatula to make sure there are no patches of unincorporated flour or butter lurking near the bottom of the bowl. 

Shape the Dough: Line the baking sheets with parchment paper. Immediately spoon half of the dough into the pastry bag fitted with the star tip. Pipe rosettes of a prepared baking sheet, spacing the cookies about 1 inch apart. (Alternatively, use a cookie press according to the manufacturer’s instructions.) The rosettes should be about 1/2 inch thick and about 1 3/4 inches in diameter. Repeat with the remaining dough. Chill the sheets in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. 

Preheat the oven to 350ºF and position two oven racks in the upper and lower thirds. 

Bake the cookies. Switching the sheets between the racks and rotating them each from to back halfway through, for 15 to 20 minutes, until the cookies are rich, golden brown around the edges and across the bottom. Transfer to a cooling rack. 

Immediately use the rounded end of the wooden spoon (or another kitchen utensil) to make a depression in the center of each cookie about 1/2 inch across. Be careful not to push so hard that you crack the cookie or break through to the baking sheet below. Let the cookies cool completely. 

Fill the Cookies: Place the chopped chocolate and cream in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave on low for 30 seconds. Stir the mixture. Heat again for 30 seconds and stir until smooth. If there are still lumps, heat again for 30 seconds. Once smooth, spoon a little chocolate into each depression in the cookies. Allow the filling to cool and set completely.

Storing: These cookies are at their best the first or second day. Keep them in an airtight container, layered between sheets of parchment or waxed paper to keep them from sticking to each other, for up to 4 days.


Cookie Tips

A few tips on making these delicious cookies. Orange blossom water is an old world flavoring especially popular in French butter cookies. Its flavor can overpower so only a small amount is used to add a floral note. Vanilla extract can easily be substituted. Make sure to use soft butter and almond paste at room temperature. This makes the dough pipeable. We used a cookie press and found the dough easy to pipe. For added taste and eye appeal, Cindy suggests you drizzle a few ounces of melted chocolate over the filled cookies

 

Recipe credit:  Mushet, Cindy, The Art and Soul of Baking, Andrews McMeel Publishing, 2008

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