Friday, December 26, 2008

VGP #26 Apricot-Sage Cookies

Wow. Are these cookies ever elegant! My store didn't have sage so I used rosemary (you can also use lemon thyme.) I was not sure how a rosemary cookie would taste, but it was lovely - not too sweet, and apricot is just the right fruit flavor to go with fresh herbs. These are to be wrapped in tissue paper in a simple white box and big silver bow or something similar, to show someone they are really, really special.
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup yellow cornmeal
1/2 cup butter
2 T snipped fresh sage, lemon thyme or rosemary; or 2 tsp dried sage or rosemary, crushed
3 T milk
1 egg white
1 T water
Fresh sage leaves, optional
2 T apricot preserves

1. Preheat oven to 375. In a medium mixing bowl, stir together flour, sugar and cornmeal. Using a pastry blender, cut in butter until mixture resembles fine crumbs and starts to cling. Stir in herb. Add milk and stir with a fork to combine. Form mixture into a ball and knead until smooth. Divide dough in half.

2. On a lightly floured surface roll half of the dough at a time to a 1/8-inch thickness. Use a 2 1/2-inch round or oval cookie cutter to cut out dough.

3. In a small bowl combine the egg white and the water. Brush half of the cookies with the egg white mixture and, if desired, top with one or two small sage leaves. Brush leaves with egg white mixture. Sprinkle with sugar. Place plain and leaf-topped cutouts 1 inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.

4. Bake in preheated oven about 7 minutes or until edges are firm and bottoms are very lightly browned. Transfer cookies to a wire rack; cool.

5. Snip any large pieces in the fruit preserves. Spread apricot preserves on the bottom of each cookie without a sage leaf. Top preserves layer with a sage-topped cookie. Makes about 20 sandwiches. Store at room temperature up to 3 days or freeze unsandwiched cookies and thaw before assembling with preserves.

Recipe from Better Homes & Gardens 100 Best Cookies

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