December 11, 2013

Apricot Ribbons


Every year, someone asks me to bake these cookies either as a gift for someone else or for a party.  This year, I was asked to make 7 dozen of them so they could be given as Christmas gifts for other people.  These cookies are so delicate and buttery, they almost melt in your mouth!  The dough is very easy to work with and I've used it to make candy cane shortbread cookies and even thumbprint cookies.  Raspberry ribbons used to be my favorite until I tried making apricot ribbons for the first time!  They are little pieces of heaven!  Mix it up a little and use your favorite kind of fruit preserves such as cherry, raspberry, grape, orange - they're all good!

Note:  As stated above, these cookies are very delicate.  Before you transfer the cookies from the cutting board to a serving plate, they must cool completely.  If you don't allow them to completely cool, they will break down the center when you pick them up.  





Ingredients:
Yields 36 - 40 cookies
Adapted from food.com


  • 2 c butter, room temperature
  • 1 c white sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 4 1/2 c all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 c apricot preserves

Glaze
  • 2 c confectioners' sugar
  • 1/4 c evaporated milk
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a very large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar, until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Add the vanilla.  In a separate large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.  Gradually add the flour mixture to the creamed mixture, until well mixed and a smooth dough is formed.

Divide the dough into four equal portions. Shape each portion into a rectangle that is about 10 inches long, 3 1/2 inches wide and about 3/4 inches deep.  Place the rectangles onto lightly greased baking sheets 3 inches apart.

Bake for 10 minutes.  Remove from oven.

Carefully make a 1/8-inch deep, 1-inch wide depression down the center of each rectangle with your finger. Be sure not to press down too far or cookies will break in half when they are picked up. Err on the side of caution with how deep you make the depression.  Using a spoon, fill the depressions with the apricot preserves.  It's not necessary, but I go over the edge of each depression with the preserves by about a half inch.

Bake for 10 to 15 minutes longer, or until lightly browned (13.5 minutes in my oven).

Cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheets.  At this point, the cookies are at their most delicate state.  Very carefully transfer to a cutting board with the aid of two spatulas underneath each rectangle.  Allow the cookies to cool for 15 minutes.  Make the glaze. In a small bowl, combine the confectioners' sugar, evaporated milk and vanilla, stir until smooth.  Drizzle the glaze liberally over the cookies.

Cut each log into 3/4-inch to 1-inch slices.  Allow the cookies to cool completely.  If you do not allow them to completely cool, they will break in half when picked up.

Enjoy!


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