6 Cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine
1 tablespoon almond extract
Grated zest of one lemon
1 cup sour cream
Sift flour, salt and baking soda and set aside.
In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to cream the butter or margarine, sugar and almond extract. Beat until light colored. Add lemon zest and sour cream. Add the flour a little at a time, mixing well until a ball of dough is formed. You may need to finish mixing by hand as this produces a very heavy dough. Wrap the dough in plastic and chill for 2 hours.
Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces and work with one piece at a time on a cold board if possible. Have ready Parchment lined baking sheets, cold marble board, roiling pin, extra flour, wax paper.
Roll out 1/4 of dough for jammed cookie sandwiches using any kind of jam and cookie cutter. Bake at 350 on middle rack for 15-20 minutes Cool and dust with confectioners sugar.
Jelly Roll Cookies
Roll out 1/4 dough into to 13-inch diameter; fill with a combination of 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon cloves, 1/2 cup coarse sparkling white sugar; roll up carefully as for jellyroll and cut 1-inch slices. Bake about 15-20 minutes or until nicely browned.
Roll out 1/4 dough; pinch off small pieces and roil into ropes about 6 inches long; make rings and dip each ring into a small bowl containing I beaten egg white. Then dip rings in finely ground walnuts; about 1/2 cup of finely ground walnuts will do. Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.
Roll out 1/4 dough, divide in half; roll each half to approx 9 1/2 x 7-inches wide. Spread one half with a mixture of 3/4 cup raisins that have been presoaked in water and drained and pureed with 1/2 cup orange marmalade. Top with second sheet of dough. Seal edges. Bake for 15-20 minutes until nicely browned. Cool slightly then glaze with frosting made from 1 cup confectioners sugar. 1 tablespoon vanilla powder and about 1 tablespoon milk; when glaze has set cut into 1 1/2-inch bars.
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