Monday, April 9, 2012

Sassy Sweets: Raspberry-Almond Swirls

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Summer is coming!  Summer is coming!  I feel like this weekend more than any other, the trees, bushes, and flowers are practically shouting the inevitable march to the summer.  In the supermarket, berries are also taking over (which, as you know from reading my blog, I have NO PROBLEM with that!).

These swirl cookies aren't difficult to make, but they are time consuming!  I like to take a weekend to make them, since the dough can stay unbaked for a while.  Or, you can make a double batch--freeze one half of the dough for another time (which takes part of the work out of the equation).

The other nice thing--make these with whatever you have going on in your house.  I love the combination of raspberries and almonds.  But walnuts and blackberries, blueberries and pecans, the possibilities are really endless here!  And I don't think there's any better way to celebrate summer than with some berries!
Raspberry-Almond Swirls
Serves:  42 cookies (2 cookies per person)
1/2 cup almonds
1 cup salted butter, room temperature
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 eggs
1 teaspoon almond extract
3 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup seedless raspberry jam
1 1/2 teaspoons corn starch

Toast the almonds first:  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Spread the almonds out in a single layer on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper.  Toast for 10 - 15 minutes, stirring once, until fragrant.  Chop the almonds until finely chopped.  Pour the almonds into a bowl and set aside.

In a large bowl, beat butter, both sugars, and baking powder until fluffy (about 30-45 seconds).  Beat in eggs and almond extract for another 30 seconds.  Add flour and stir with a wooden spoon until combined.  Divide dough in half.  Cover and chill each dough piece at least one hour.  

Meanwhile, make the filling:  In a small saucepan, combine raspberry jam and cornstarch.  Heat and stir over medium heat until thick and bubbling.  Stir in reserved toasted almonds.  Cover and cool.  

Remove the dough from the fridge and roll one half of the dough between two sheets of waxed paper into an 11-inch square.  Spread half of the filling over the square, leaving a 1/2 inch border along the edges.  Roll up the dough into a spiral, pinching to seal.  Wrap log in wax paper and twist the ends to keep the dough closed.  Repeat with the other half of the dough.  Chill both doughs overnight (at least 4 hours).  

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.  Cut chilled logs into 1/4 inch slices.  Place slices on the cookie sheet far enough apart not to touch.  Bake for 10-12 minutes, until firm and lightly golden brown.  Let cool and serve immediately (or store in airtight containers for up to 5 days).

Until the next time my oven is on...

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Welcome! I'm Dani (aka the Growing Foodie), just a girl balancing her career and passion for all things edible in NYC. I hope you'll join me in my adventures in life, through food. (Click for More)
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