For those of you who have been waiting patiently for this recipe, I thank you.
For those of you who have been waiting impatiently: let this be a lesson. Good things come to those who wait.
Of course, I don’t suppose you expected to wait this long. Sometimes I get busy. Sometimes I’m just forgetful.
To make the almond pillow cookie, you need to start out with a fabulously easy roll out cookie recipe. I came across this recipe one day with a pile of vintage cookie cutters. It is so ridiculously easy you’ll wonder why no one ever told you about this recipe before! The cookie recipe itself is not terribly sweet so it’s perfect for housing the delectable almond paste filling that goes along.
Roll-Out cookie recipe:
1 cup butter, softened or not
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 t vanilla
2 t baking powder
3 cups flour
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F Cream sugar and butter together. (I use an electric hand mixer…stand mixer would make this recipe even easier. And, if you’re going to get that big bowl dirty anyway, why not just double this recipe and freeze the extra before baking??) Add egg and vanilla. Add baking powder and flour one cup at a time, mixing after each addition. I always mix in the last cup of flour by hand and it’s not difficult at all. However, if you’re using a stand mixer, just continue using your fancy contraption!
At this point, you DO NOT need to chill this dough. In fact, if you do refrigerate it, you will find it too firm! Just separate the two into two balls, cover with plastic wrap the one not in use. I usually roll these out pretty thickly but rolled them very thin for the pillow cookie recipe. Suit yourself on this matter. This dough is perfect for cookie cutters of all kinds so have fun! I bake them on parchment paper for no more than 10 minutes. Keep an eye on them towards the end of the cooking time.
NOTE: Do NOT bake the cookies before adding the almond paste. Read entire recipe!
Almond paste for the filling:
3 1/4 cup almonds (I used almond meal here and it worked fine)
1 1/8 cup unrefined cane sugar
1/4 cup honey
7 T water
1 T almond extract
Put almond meal into large bowl. I actually used my Vita-Mix for this recipe. If you are using whole almonds (which I don’t suggest, because that’s a lot of work!), grind them in a food processor until they’re about the consistency of coarse coffee. Make sure you don’t make almond butter! Bring sugar, water and honey to a rolling boil over medium-high heat. While syrup is still boiling, pour over almond meal. Process until smooth. This will take a while–up to 5 minutes.
This almond paste will be incredibly sticky. In fact, it’s very much like taffy. Actually, I considered offering it to the honeybees as a propolis substitute! I don’t know the best way to tell you how to work with it. Just, don’t be discouraged or dismayed when the paste sticks to everything! It’s actually very easy to clean up.
Now that you have your paste and your rolled out cookies, you’re going to make little sandwiches. Cut out a cookie. Top with almond paste. Layer another cookie over the paste. Bake in the oven for about 10 minutes.