Prep 2 hrs 30 mins
Cook 15 mins
from Giada on the Food Network, these cookies are part of the 12 Cookies of 2009. Delicious combination of two of my favorite flavors!
- 1⁄2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1⁄2 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1⁄2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1⁄2 teaspoon almond extract
- 1⁄4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1⁄4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 large egg
- 1 1⁄4 cups all-purpose flour
- 3⁄4 cup coarsely chopped dried tart cherry (see Cook's Note)
- 1⁄2 cup blanched slivered almond, toasted and coarsely chopped (see Cook's Note)
- 2 3⁄4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 3 tablespoons water, plus extra, as needed
- FOR THE COOKIES: In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, beat the butter, sugar, vanilla extract, almond extract, cinnamon, and salt until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes, then beat in the egg. Add the flour and beat on the lowest speed until just blended. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the dried cherries and almonds.
- Transfer the dough to a sheet of plastic wrap and shape it into a log, about 12-inches long and 1 1/2-inches in diameter. Wrap the dough in the plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. (Dough can be made up to 3 days in advance).
- Arrange an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 heavy baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Cut the log crosswise into 1/2-inch thick slices. Transfer the dough slices to the prepared baking sheets, spacing them about 1-inch apart. Bake until the cookies are golden around the edges and puffed, about 15 minutes. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely before icing, about 30 minutes.
- FOR THE ICING: Put the powdered sugar in a medium bowl. Gradually whisk in the vanilla extract and water, adding more water, 1 teaspoon at a time, until the mixture becomes a drizzling consistency. (Makes about 2/3 cups icing, enough to ice both variations.).
- Put the cooled cookies on a wire rack set over a baking sheet. Using a spoon or a fork, drizzle the cookies with the icing, allowing any excess icing to drip onto the baking sheet. Allow the icing to set before serving, about 1 hour.
- Cook's Note: To toast the almonds, arrange them in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake in a preheated 350 degree F oven for 6 to 8 minutes until lightly toasted. Cool completely before using.
- Cook's Note Alternative: Replace the dried cherries with 1/2 cup coarsely chopped dried apricots and add 2 tablespoons of toasted pine nuts. Also, use 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and omit the almond extract.
These cookies got rave reviews at foodnetwork.com, but I was a little disappointed in them. To me they weren't anything special, but I'm an obsessive cookie baker so could be a bit too critical. They looked great but I found the flavour a little bland. They're not a crisp cookie. There's some crispness to the outside edges but the rest of the cookie is firm, with a softness to it (not cakey). Made a half recipe of the icing for a single batch of cookies and it was more than enough. Helps to chill the dough slightly before rolling into a log.