Almond and Blenheim Apricot Preserve Cookies

             © Elissa Rubin-Mahon 2008

These are very delicate and rich cookies that my mother made for Christmas with her homemade Blenheim apricot preserves. It is a good idea to keep the dough as cold as possible when you are rolling it out and forming the cookies, as the high butter content makes the dough fragile. I chill the dough after it is rolled out, after cutting the rounds and again before filling. These are worth your effort

Preheat oven to 400̊ F Place rack in the center of the oven.
   1 cup Blenheim apricot preserves

      For the Cookie Dough:
   1 cup softened unsalted butter
   1 cup granulated sugar
   2 egg yolks
   1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
   2 cups unbleached pastry flour
   1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
   1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
   1 cup almond flour
   1/4 teaspoon salt

   Mix together the softened butter, granulated sugar, egg yolks and grated lemon rind together until creamy.
   Sift together the pastry flour, salt and spices and incorporate with the almond flour. Mix the dry ingredients into the butter-sugar-egg yolk mixture.    Chill the dough well.    Roll the dough between 2 sheets of waxed paper to 1/8-inch thickness. Cut the dough into 2-inch rounds. Top each round with a small amount of apricot preserves in the center of the cookie. Roll out dough scraps and cut 1/4-inch strips of dough. Place crisscrossed strips of dough on each cookie. Repeat the process until all of the dough is used up.    The dough scraps can be chilled and reworked without toughening the cookies.    Place the cookies on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake until the edges begin to brown, about 8 minutes.