Chocolate and Almond Sandwich Cookies

  • Yield 2-3 dozen

Ingredients

1/4 cup slivered almonds
1 cup sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 -- large egg yolk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup whipping cream
12 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate

Instructions

For cookies:
Place slivered almonds in processor and add 1/4 cup sugar. Grind almonds finely. Using electric mixer, beat butter and remaining 3/4 cup sugar in large bowl until well blended. Beat in egg yolk, vanilla extract, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Add ground-nut mixture and flour and beat until moist clumps form. Gather dough into 2 balls; flatten each ball into disk. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate at least 1 hour and up to 2 days.

Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Roll dough into 24 1 inch balls and evenly divide them on the parchment paper. Flatten the dough balls into into disks (about 1/4 inch thick) on the parchment paper. There should be about 1/2 inch space between each disk. If dough is soft, chill 10 minutes to firm. Chill cookies on sheets 15 minutes before baking.

Position racks in top third and bottom third of oven; preheat to 325°F. Bake cookies 5 minutes. Reverse sheets and bake until cookies begin to color, about 6 minutes. Cool cookies on sheets 5 minutes. Transfer to racks; cool completely. Repeat with remaining dough.

For filling:
Bring cream to simmer in heavy medium saucepan. Remove from heat; add chocolate and whisk until melted and smooth. Let cool until thick but still spreadable, about 2 hours.

Place half of cookies, bottom side up, on work surface. Spoon ganache filling into pastry bag fitted with 1/4-inch plain tip. Leaving 1/4-inch plain border, pipe (or spread) ganache on cookies. Top each with second cookie, bottom side down, pressing to adhere.

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