It was amazing I had a chance to fill these cookies. Fresh and plain, the almond biscuits coming straight from the oven proved pretty popular. I almost would have thought to leave them just for snacking although it is Christmas cookie season, so I figured a little extra sparkle was in order.
Setting off with an original idea to use up the finally ripe hachiya persimmon sinking into my window sill, I was thinking of a swankier jelly thumb print. All I needed was the cookie to dab my thumb downward.
Looking for a cookie base to stuff, ice or otherwise decorate wasn’t too tough. I wanted versatility and these cookies have it. Delicately flavoured with almonds these cookies are also nice and crisp, able to hold up a sweet orangy center.
This, I guess is where inspiration meets evolution; or laziness meets versatility – can’t decide.
No matter which, the cookie base is a great canvas and here are two works for it.
Let me know what you come up with.
1/2 Cup Margarine
1/2 Cup Whole Almonds
1/2 Banana, well mashed
1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar, organic
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 1/4 Cup Unbleached, All Purpose Flour, plus more for rolling
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
In a food processor, grind the almonds until coarse.
Add the flour and continue to mix until the almonds are a fine texture.
In a large bowl blend the mashed banana with the margarine until smooth.
Add the sugar and continue to mix until creamy.
Add salt, vanilla, and baking powder; beating well to incorporate.
Add the ground almonds and flour; mixing well to form a soft dough.
Shape the dough into a ball and cut in half.
Wrap the dough in plastic and flatten into disks.
Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes – 1 hour.*
Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
Roll out, one disk at a time on a lightly floured board to about a 1/8″ thickness for the sandwich cookies, about 1/4″ thick for the thumbprint cookies.
Cut out with your desired shape. (Flowers, circles or scalloped edged rounds are nice.)
For Orange Sandwich Cookies:
Transfer cookies to a parchment lined cookie sheet and bake for 8 – 10 minutes, watching carefully at the end, since they go from pale to golden fairly quickly.
Remove from baking sheet and completely cool on a wire baking rack.
Pipe icing rounds into the center of half of the biscuits. Top with the remaining biscuits, swirl additional icing on top and sprinkle with demara sugar, if desired.
For the thumbprint cookies:
Cut the cookies a little thicker. Transfer them to a parchment lined cookie sheet.
With a dampened thumb, create an even well in the center of each cookie and fill with a dollop of the prepared persimmon jelly.
Bake for about 10 minutes or until just light golden and crisp.
Transfer to a wire rack to cool. (Don’t sneak – sugar gets hot. You will burn your lip – trust me.)
SATSUMA ORANGE ICING
1 Tablespoon Juice, 1 Satsuma (1 Clementine, or even Tropicana will do in a pinch)
1 Tablespoon Margarine
2/3 Cup Confectionery Sugar, sifted
Add sifted sugar to a medium bowl.
Combine margarine with a fork or an electric mixer.
Drizzle in the juice, continuing to mix until smooth.
The consistency should have movement, unlike cake icing but not be runny.
1 Hachiya Persimmon, very ripe
1/4 Cup Sugar
Cut the persimmon lengthwise and with a spoon, remove the pulp into a small saucepan.
Bring the heat up to medium-high.
Add sugar, mashing and stirring well.
Let the persimmon simmer for about 5 minutes or until the back of a spoon is coated and glossy.
Remove from heat, cool slightly then pass through a mesh strainer with the help of a rubber spatula.
Cool and dot into cookie divots.
* The dough will keep in the fridge or freezer until you’re ready. Fridge for about a week and freeze for up to 3 months.