Monday, February 15, 2010

Filled Cookies...a Labor of Love

I haven't made these for a long time...Val always includes them in her massive Christmas Cookie production...and I'm afraid I don't take advantage of them when they are presented with so many other wonderful cookies...
I remember Mom making these especially when we were going camping...along with Snowflake cookies...and filling up a glass gallon jar with each kind so we wouldn't be bereft of homemade cookies on our trip...I don't ever remember buying cookies...except maybe Girl Scout Cookies.
Anyway, these take a bit of work...we always made raisin and apricot filling, although apricot is the favorite. The filling is made with dried fruit, not jam, so it's very intense.
Make the filling the day before or early in the day so it has a chance to cool thoroughly.

I use the dried slab apricots from Trader Joe's...don't use the "turkish apricots" that you usually find in most grocery stores. We used to grind the fruit, but I used my food processor (chopping blade) after slicing the apricots a bit.
To one cup chopped fruit (either raisins or apricots) add 1/2 C sugar and 1/2 C water. Cook until thickened, about 10 minutes, stirring so it doesn't scorch.

Here they are without their tops...we usually made two different shapes to differentiate between fillings...

Filled Cookies (Not a Very Exciting Name)

2 C sugar
1 C shortening (I use half butter and half Crisco)
1/2 C sour cream
2 eggs
3 C flour (maybe 3 1/4)
1 t soda
1 t salt
1 t vanilla
1/2 t lemon extract

Cream shortening, sugar and sour cream. Add eggs and flavorings and flour. This makes a VERY soft dough. It helps to chill in the refrigerator for an hour, but can be rolled immediately. Just use a lot of flour on your board...Fill with 1 t either raisin or apricot filling and cover with another cookie. Press edges together to seal (It seems we used to use a fork and maybe moisten with water...but I found the dough is so soft it easily sticks together ) I poked the tops with a fork dipped in sugar (air vents?) And then I sprinkled the tops with a little sugar which I don't think we used to do, but it makes them look a little sparkley. Bake at 350 for about 12 minutes, until edges are slightly brown.

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