Almond Jelly Cookies
As a tourist in Scotland while in college, I learned about Walkers Shortbread. I think I spent way too much money on the trademark plaid box, but those shortbread cookies were worth every pound sterling. A simple and sweet buttery biscuit cookie. Now you can buy Walkers Shortbread on Amazon…or make them yourself with just butter, flour and sugar. I love to make shortbread year round and use it in fresh fruit tarts, homemade candy bars and one beloved Christmas cookie – Almond Jelly cookies!
The classic shortbread recipe that originated in 15th century Scotland involved one part sugar, two parts butter and three parts flour. We are taking it a step further by adding an egg yolk, ground almonds and pure almond extract for a more golden texture and a rich, nutty flavor. The shortbread dough is indented with your thumb and filled with a favorite jelly, or in this batch, leftover apple butter. The result is a buttery and nutty melt in your mouth shortbread surrounding a soft, fruity middle. Cue the Scottish Highland Dancers!
Come on in to my kitchen!
You will need shortbread’s 3 standard ingredients: unsalted butter, sugar and all-purpose flour. You will also need one egg, salt, pure almond extract, ground almonds and your favorite jelly, jam or fruit butter.
To make 1/2 cup ground almonds, put 2/3 cup whole almonds in a food processer and whirl them around for 30 seconds until they resemble course breadcrumbs. If you process the almonds too long, they will release their oil and create almond butter. Although yummy, not what we want.
Beat together 1 cup unsalted butter (softened), 1/2 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. almond extract, 1/4 cup granulated sugar and egg yolk on medium speed until smooth.
Next, slowly add 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour and your 1/2 cup ground almonds until you have a stiff dough.
On a lightly floured surface, divide the dough into two eight inch long rolls and refrigerate them for one hour….While we are waiting, how about some fun shortbread trivia?
In a place called Shetland, Scotland, it is tradition to break a decorated shortbread cake over the head of a new bride on the entrance of her new house! Talk about a delicious headache! 🙂
Now, preheat your oven to 320 degrees. Shortbread needs a lower than normal temperature to bake evenly.
Slice each roll 1/2 inch thick and lay them on a greased cookie sheet. Using your thumb, make an indentation into the middle of each slice. Spread 1/2 tsp. jelly, jam or fruit butter into the indentation. A baby spoon works great for this!
Bake the cookies for 12 minutes or until golden on edges. While still warm, dust the cookies with the extra 2 T. granulated sugar.
This Christmas, make your own Scottish inspired almond jelly cookies. You won’t regret it!
Delicious almond jelly cookies made with raw almonds.
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. almond extract
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar, plus 2 T.
- 1 egg yolk
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup ground almonds
- 1/2 cup favorite jelly
- Create ground almonds by placing whole, raw almonds into a blender or food processor until they resemble bread crumbs.
- In a mixer, beat the butter, salt, extract, sugar and egg yolk until smooth.
- Add flour and ground almonds and knead into a firm dough.
- Divide the dough into two rolls and refrigerate the dough for one hour.
- Preheat your oven to 320 degrees.
- Slice the rolls 1/2 inch thick and press a thumbprint into each one.
- Put 1/2 tsp. jelly into each thumbprint.
- Bake the cookies on greased baking sheets for 12 minutes or until golden on edges.
- Dust the cookies with the extra 2 T. of granulated sugar while warm.