I received an early Christmas present from Stephen; an adjustable cookie cutter. So I figured, while it's Christmas, why not play with it? Besides, we can't forget to leave some milk and cookies out for the Big Guy ;)
This recipe isn't very hard, and the results are well worth the effort: you're left with gorgeous, delicate looking biscuits with charming cut-out shapes in the middle that are great to serve to friends and family. The filling also gave me an excuse to use some of the jam that I've collected (Stephen reckons I could open a jam museum). It's a win-win cookie!
Almond Shortbread Christmas Cookies
1 1/2 cups plain flour
3/4 cup almond meal
1/3 cup icing sugar
125g cold butter, chopped
1 tbsp milk
1 cup of jam (any flavour; I used blackcurrent, fig and almond, and orange and rhubarb)
2 - 3 tablespoons water
1. Combine flour, almond meal, butter and icing sugar in a food processor until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.
2. Add egg and milk, and process until just combined. Knead gently until dough forms a ball, flatten into a disc, wrap in cling film and refrigerate for half an hour.
3. Preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius. Roll out dough to a 3 mm thickness, and, using a cookie cutter, cut out 32 rounds (16 should have the middle shape cut out, and 16 should be solid). Place rounds on a lined baking tray and cook for 8 - 10 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool on tray.
4. To make the filling, combine the jam and water in a small saucepan and stir occasionally until jam is melted. Strain into a bowl, discard the solids and leave to cool in the fridge for about 10 - 15 minutes.
5. Spread a teaspoon of the cooled jam onto a solid biscuit half, gently press a biscuit half with the cut-out on top, and repeat. When complete, dust with icing sugar and serve.
2 days 'til Christmas! :D