BiteClub, Cookies, Holiday Cookie Contest

Almond Delights

¼ cup blanched almonds
2 sticks unsalted butter, cut into 16 equal pats
½ cup confectioners sugar
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pure almond extract
1 recipe Chocolate-Almond Filling (recipe follows)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Spread the almonds on a baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven until lightly browned, 8-10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool.
Use the metal blade of the food processor to chop the almonds finely, 6-8 pulses. Reserve.
Process the butter and sugar until smooth and creamy, about 20 seconds, stopping to scrape bowl. Add flour, salt, and almond extract and pulse 8-10 times until well mixed.
Roll a rounded half teaspoon of dough into a marble sized ball. Place about one and a half inches apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake the cookies in the center of the preheated oven until firm but not brown, 10-12 minutes. Cool on wire rack.
Spread about ½ teaspoon of the filling on the bottom of one cookie, place another cookie bottom side down on the filling and press lightly. Roll the chocolate edge of the cookie in the reserved chopper almonds. Makes about 4 dozen cookies.
Chocolate-Almond Filling
3 ounces semi-sweet good quality baking chocolate, broken into pieces
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons heavy cream
½ teaspoon pure almond extract
Pinch salt
1 cup confectioners sugar
Using the metal blade , process the chocolate for about 1 minute or until finely chopped.
Bring the butter and cream to a boil in sauce pan.
With motor running, pour the hot butter-cream mixture through the feed tube, process for 15 seconds or until the chocolate is smooth. Add the remaining ingredients, pulse 4-6 times to combine. Makes about 1 cup filling.

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