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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Ruby Jewel Cookies

3 large egg yolks
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
2 cups all purpose flour
2/3 cup sugar
1 cup cold butter, cut into small pieces
About 1/3 cup seedless raspberry jam or caramel*
Confectioner’s sugar for dusting or chocolate for drizzling*

1.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Have ready two ungreased baking sheets or mini muffin pans and liners.
2.  In a small bowl, whisk the egg yolks and vanilla together; set aside. Combine the flour and sugar in a large bowl and whisk to combine. Scatter the butter pieces over the top of the flour and sugar and with a pastry blender or two forks, work in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the egg yolk mixture and carefully mix to combine until the dough starts to come together (this worked best using my hands).
3.  Turn the dough out onto a sheet of plastic wrap and shape it into a flat disk. Wrap and refrigerate until chilled, about 1 hour.
4.  With lightly floured hands, pinch off pieces of dough and shape the dough into ¾-inch balls. Place each ball in a mini muffin paper liner, if using. If not using a mini muffin pan, place the cookies 1 inch apart on the baking sheets.
5.  Using the end of a wooden spoon handle dipped in flour, make an indentation in the center of each cookie, but do not press all the way through the dough.
6.  Using a spoon or a pastry bag fitted with a plain tip, fill each indentation with about ¼ teaspoon jam.
7.  Bake the cookies until the edges are golden, 15-20 minutes. Let the cookies cool completely on the pans on wire racks. Transfer cooled cookies to wire racks and dust with confectioner’s sugar.

*For Caramel Cup Version

Keep the directions the same as above for steps 1-5.  But instead of filling with jam, bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes unfilled.  Remove from oven, and reform the indentation on the half-baked cookies.  Fill each cup quickly with a thick caramel sauce.  Return to the oven for another 4-6 minutes.  Let the cookies cool completely the remove to a wire rack.  Drizzle with melted chocolate.

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