Sunday, March 16, 2008
Apricot Almond Cookies
I recently purchased a mold for making mamoul, a traditional Lebanese cookie. They are a bit like shortbread in texture, and have a date, walnut, or pistachio filling. They are also some of the best cookies I have ever eaten.
The first thing I made using the mold, however was not mamoul at all. I didn't have everything I would need for mamoul, and didn't want to make something with as much fat as mamoul would require. Instead, I came up with these soft almond cookies with an apricot filling. Using the mold was so much fun that I turned right around and used it to make a coconut cookie.
You don't need a mold to make these cookies. It's easy to shape them in your hands, but if you can find one you will have twice as much fun making them. Mine was under 5 dollars at Mona's Cafe; a Lebanese and Mediterranean restaurant that also houses a small International market. They just recently opened a location near my house, and not only does it make my life easier to have such convenient access to falafel sandwiches, tahini, grape leaves, split fava beans, giant glass jars of tomato paste, dried figs, mamoul molds, etc., but I think it's important to support small independent ethnic markets and restaurants. My local Vietnamese, Korean, and Middle Eastern markets are usually less expensive then the supermarkets, and shopping there challenges me by introducing me to foods I am unfamiliar with. Now, on to the cookies.
Apricot Almond Cookies
2 Tbsp margarine, softened
1/4 cup soy milk
1 Tbsp flax meal
1/4 cup applesauce
1 tsp almond extract
2 Tbsp sugar
1 1/2 cup flour ( I used spelt)
Combine everything but the flour and mix well. Stir in the flour. The dough should be firm and dry enough to handle. Add more flour or soy milk if necessary.
For the filling puree some dried apricots with a teaspoon or two of agave nectar and just enough water to moisten and make a paste. Sorry, but I didn't measure any of this. If you make too much it just means you will have to make more cookies!
Lightly flour the mold. Press a small amount of dough into the mold, making an indentation for the filling. Fill the indentation with the apricot filling. Form a disc large enough to cover the filling and press firmly into place so the apricot will stay sealed inside.
Turn the mold over and give a firm tap on the counter or into your hand to release the cookie. If you floured the mold it should come out easily. Continue with the rest of the dough and filling. Make sure to flour the mold each time or the cookies will stick.
Bake at 350 degrees until browned on the bottom. These are tasty as they are or lightly dusted with powdered sugar. Makes approx. 18 cookies.
Sadly, I didn't get a picture...but I gave Nutmeg a bite of one of these cookies, and she gave them her highest rating.