Recipe for Sparkling Starwiches


Spaghettini alla Chitarra with Bottarga

Holiday - This is a holiday favorite

These are simply the best of all possible cookies. The dough is a bit dry and can be tricky to work with if you are impatient, but these cookies are so good that we never actually put them on our cookie tree at Christmas. They all get eaten en route.

Sparkling Starwiches

Sparkling Starwiches
(Gourmet 12/97)

6 tbsp pure almond paste - about 4 oz
2/3 cup granulated sugar
3 sticks unsalted butter
1 tsp vanilla
3 1/2 cups flour
1/8 tsp salt
parchment paper for lining baking sheet
2 large egg whites
2 cups sand or pearl sugar for decoration
1 cup red currant jelly

In a bowl beat together almond paste, sugar, butter and vanilla until light and creamy.

Gradually beat in flour and salt.

Quarter the dough and roll out each quarter between sheets of wax paper to make 11 inch rounds, about 1/8 inch thick.

Rounds should be chilled at least 2 hours and can be chilled for 3 days.

Preheat the oven to 325 and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

Transfer one round to work surface. Remove wax paper. Cut out even numbers of cookies.

Arrange the cookies on the baking sheet. Remove the centers from half of them using a smaller cookie cutter. (We used a big Star of David cookie cutter for the cookies and cut a smaller five sided star from within half of them). Brush the cut out cookies with egg white and sprinkle with decorative sugar - green is best.

Bake for 10-12 minutes, then cool.

While they cool, boil the jelly, stirring continuously, for about 2 minutes, then let it cool for 10 minutes.

To make each "starwich", take a whole cookie, cover its face with jelly, put down a decorated cut out cookie on top of it.

Let the cookies dry before hanging. You can usually, if you are gentle, push florist wire through them for hanging.

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