These cookies are an easy version of the Italian ‘Pesche’ peach cookie that is traditionally filled with cream and eaten on the same day it is made. In this recipe, the two-bite sparkling delights are without the cream filling and can be made ahead and kept in the freezer for up to three weeks. They are quite charming for showers, weddings, or special occasions. They are also an exquisite after dinner cookie that can be served with coffee.
Makes approximately 1 1/2 dozen
150 ml (2/3 cup) butter, room temperature
125 ml (1/2 cup) sugar
1 large egg
2 ml (1/2 tsp) pure vanilla
425 ml (1 3/4 cups) all-purpose flour
2 ml (1/2 tsp) lemon zest
1 ml (1/4 tsp) salt
175 ml (3/4 cup) apricot jam
Yellow, orange and red sugar crystals
Preheat oven to 180º C (350º F). In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg, vanilla and lemon zest. Combine flour and salt and add to butter mixture; mix until just blended.
Roll dough into 4-cm (1 1/2-inch) balls. Cut each ball in half with a wire cheese cutter or dental floss. Bake on a parchment-lined baking sheet for approximately 15-20 minutes, until lightly golden. Watch to make sure they don’t get too brown.
Melt apricot jam and brush the bottom half of each cookie when partially cooled and attach the other half. Brush the entire cookie with the melted jam and roll in a combination of yellow, orange and red sugar. Tuck in a sprig of thyme, a candied leaf or a sliver of a green gumdrop. Cool completely and serve in cupcake liners for easy handling.