Here’s another iteration of one of my favorite cookies. It’s a very substantial cookie – good enough for breakfast, almost! Adapted from Crunchy Bones Cookies, from the book Trick or Treat by Emily Gwathmey and Suzanne Slesin.
If you prefer, instead of the lavender buds and lemon zest, use whatever combination of flavors that is pleasing to you, e.g. orange zest and cardamom, or orange zest and anise seed, or for a more traditional linzer flavor profile, a touch of cinnamon and cloves with some lemon zest.
12 sandwich cookies
toasted almonds, skins on
toasted hazelnuts, skins removed
1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons
organic culinary lavender buds
grated zest of 1 or 2 lemons
confectioner’s sugar (spoon into measuring cup, then sweep off excess with a knife or offset spatula)
large egg whites, room temperature
good quality raspberry or 4-fruit preserves ( I use Bonne Maman)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 1 large baking sheet with parchment paper.
Place almonds, hazelnuts, lavender and lemon zest in the bowl of a food processor. Process until nuts are ground.
Add confectioner’s sugar and pulse a few more times to blend, and the nuts are finely ground. Turn out to a large bowl.
In a medium bowl, whisk egg whites for a minute, until fluffy. Pour over nut mixture, and blend well, mashing the mixture with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula to evenly incorporate the egg whites. Form into a ball shape.
Place dough on parchment-lined cookie sheet and flatten out into a rectangular shape, about 8” x 10”. Place a sheet of parchment or wax paper over the rectangle and top with an empty sheet pan. Press down some more to flatten dough to no more than ¼” thick. Remove top pan and carefully peel off top paper.
Bake for 10 – 15 minutes, or until just lightly browned on top. Don’t let it get crispy though. You want to be able to cut out shapes with some ease. Let cool on pans for 20 minutes or so.
Place a sheet of wax paper or parchment over the cookie and, with another sheet pan, invert. Carefully peel off bottom parchment.
Using a 2” fluted round biscuit/cookie cutter, press out 24 rounds. You may have to work the cutter through a bit, as the outside edges are tougher. Yes, it’s a bit of a pain, but worth it. The scraps are the cook's treat.
Now it’s time to make your sandwiches! Place about a teaspoon of preserves on the bottom of a cookie. Top with another cookie. Dust tops of sandwiches with confectioner’s sugar, if desired.
Cooking tip: if your eggs are cold, place them in some hot tap water for a few minutes, to bring them to room temperature faster.