cup preserves/jam or fruit spread, strained if very lumpy
Powdered sugar, for dusting
In This Recipe
Combine the all-purpose and nut flours, salt, cinnamon, and cloves in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Stir the almond extract into the sugar and add it to the processor. Pulse to mix. Cut the butter into several chunks and add it to the processor. Grate the zest of the lemon and the orange into the processor bowl. Process, pulsing from time to time, until the mixture clumps up around the blade. Dump the mixture onto a sheet of parchment and use your hands to knead in any stray flour.
Shape the dough into a 12-inch log about 2 inches in diameter. Square the ends and wrap the log tightly in the paper. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, but preferably longer or overnight.
Preheat the oven to 325°F. Position the racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven.
Remove the log from the fridge and let it set for 5 to 10 minutes so you can slice it without cracking. Slice the dough in rounds a scant 1/4-inch thick and place them 1 inch apart on two lined baking sheets, dividing the total number equally between them. Cut a small round from the center of each cookie on one of the pans, placing the cut out pieces on the third baking sheet. Bake 14 to 18 minutes or until the cookies are slightly colored at the edges and golden brown underneath. Rotate the sheets from upper to lower and front to back about halfway through the baking time. Set the pans on racks to cool. Bake the tiny cookies separately for 11 to 12 minutes.
Cool cookies completely before stacking or storing. Cookies are delicious fresh but more flavorful the next day. Unfilled cookies may be stored in an airtight container for at least 2 weeks.
Shortly before serving, turn all of the cookies without holes bottom side up and spread each with a rounded 1/2 teaspoon preserves. Sieve a little powdered sugar over the cookies with holes and place one on top of each jam-topped cookie.
My career was sparked by a single bite of a chocolate truffle, made by my Paris landlady in 1972. I returned home to open this country’s first chocolate bakery and dessert shop, Cocolat, and I am often “blamed” for introducing chocolate truffles to America. Today I am the James Beard Foundation and IACP award-winning author of ten cookbooks, teach a chocolate dessert class on Craftsy.com, and work with some of the world’s best chocolate companies. In 2018, I won the IACP Award for Best Food-Focused Column (this one!).