Jumbo Almond Elephant Ears

READY IN: 50mins
YIELD: 12 cookies




  • to prepare the COOKIE DOUGH:.
  • sift the flour, baking soda and salt into a large bowl. Add the butter and mix with an electric mixer on low speed until the largest of the butter pieces are the size of small lima beans.about 20 seconds.
  • the butter pieces will be different sizes and there will still be some loose flour.
  • add the sour cream and mix until large clumps of dough form that pull away from the sides of the bowl.about 15 seconds(or use a pastry blender to combine the flour mixture and butter.add the sour cream and stir with a large spoon for about 2 minutes until a smooth dough forms).
  • form the dough into a smooth ball and flatten it into a rectangle about 8x5".
  • you will see small pieces of butter in the dough, that is good and contributes to the flaky texture.
  • wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerator for 30-60 minutes to rest and firm the dough.
  • the dough can also be refrigerated overnight, but then it will have to sit at room temperature until it is soft enough to roll out easily.
  • this can take as long as 1 hour in a cool kitchen.
  • to prepare the FILLING:.
  • in a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the almond paste and butter until smooth.
  • mix in the powdered sugar, cream or milk,vanilla and almond extract until blended to a smooth soft mixture.
  • OR make the filling in a food processor. Put all the ingredients in the processor, and beginning with a few on/off bursts, process until a smooth mixture forms,.about 1 minute.).
  • transfer to a small bowl, cover and set aside at room temperature for up to 1 hour or refrigerate if leaving overnight.
  • position a rack in the middle of the oven.
  • preheat the oven to 375*.
  • line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • unwrap the dough.
  • lightly sprinkle the flour and sugar on the rolling pin and the rolling surface.
  • roll the dough to a 14x12" rectangle.
  • don't flip the dough over while rolling, but lift and turn it several times as you roll it to prevent it from sticking to the rolling surface.
  • and, when you lift and turn the dough, sprinkle sugar generously on the rolling surface.
  • use a thin metal spatula to spread the filling in a thin layer over the dough.
  • turn the dough if necessary so a short side faces you.
  • Measuring along the 14" sides, mark the center of the dough.
  • rolling from the shorter 12" edge that is closer to you, roll up the dough like a jelly roll just to the marked center.
  • then roll the far side toward the center until the two rolls meet.
  • you will have a double log of filled dough that is smoothly attached on the bottom side.
  • turn the double log over for easier cutting.
  • press in the ends of the log to smooth them.
  • and use a large sharp knife to cut the log into 12 1" thick slices.
  • dip both sides of each slice in sugar, sprinkle the rolling pin with sugar.
  • roll out each slice of dough to a large butterfly shape about 4x5" and about 1/16" thick, sprinkling the rolling pin as necessary with sugar.
  • the cookies will not all be exactly the same size.
  • use a large spatula to place the cookies at least 1" apart on the prepared baking sheets.
  • sprinkle the top of each cookie with about 1/2 tsp sugar.
  • bake the cookies one sheet at a time until the tops are evenly light brown.about 15 minutes.
  • the cookies will spread about 1" and rise slightly.
  • the filling may bubble up slightly on some of the cookies and have a few darker spots.
  • cool the cookies for about 5 minutes on the baking sheets.
  • then use a large metal spatula to transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • the outside of the sugar coated cookies will become very crisp as they cool.
  • the cookies can be stored in a single layer in a tightly covered container at room temperature for up to 3 days.