once filled and baked, they are then iced with a simple glaçage of confectioners sugar and lemon juice to offset the sweetness of the preserves. adding sliced almonds either on top of the preserves before baking or toasted ones on top the icing afterwards adds texture and interest also. of course, they are just as good without it. experiment and see what you like.
apricot preserve diagonals
1 stick (1/2 c) margarine or butter
1/4 c sugar
1 1/4 c all purpose flour
pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla or almond extract
3 tbsp preserves or jam of your choice
sliced almonds, optional
9 - 10 tbsp icing (confectioners) sugar,
or enough to make a thick but runny icing
1 tbsp lemon juice or water
toasted sliced almonds for garnish, optional
preheat oven to 35oF.
in a mixing bowl, beat the softened margarine with the sugar, vanilla or almond extract and salt until it is light.
add the flour in 1/4 cups until all has been incorporated.
make a ball and then divide the dough equally into 3 portions (~112 grams each).
line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or lightly oil the sheet.
with your hands, roll out each ball into a length which measures about 8 1/2 to 9 inches. you will notice that it may crack while you're rolling it out. don't worry about that, just squeeze it together and work it so it extends. the cracks are part of the look of the cookie.
carefully place the ropes on cookie sheet. i have found it easier to roll the dough out on a chopping board and then carefully roll it/transfer to the sheet.
once on the sheet, take your finger and press into it about a 1/4 inch from the top edge. you need a border.
press all the way down the dough until you reach about 1/4 inch again. the dough will probably crack, again, don't worry about it. the final shape should sort of look like a little canoe. just make sure they are compact.
in a bowl, place 1 tbsp (maybe 1/2 to 1 tsp extra, if needed) of apricot preserves or jam and mix it well to break up any lumps. don't be tempted to use more as it will overflow and make a mess. trust me, i know ;P
place this tablespoon of preserves all along the length of one "canoe". repeat two more times.
at this point, you can sprinkle some sliced almonds on top if you like. you can also add shredded coconut over the filling.
place the cookies in the oven for 17 to 20 minutes.
remove cookie sheet from oven and let cool completely. if you move them now, they will break.
once cooled, make your icing by mixing the lemon juice or water together with the sugar. if you don't want to use the icing sugar mixture, you can alternatively dust them with icing sugar using a fine meshed sieve.
make sure your icing is not too runny and thin. if it is, add more icing sugar bit by bit. it should be thick-ish but still runny. test a bit on the edge of the pastries first to see if it is the right consistency otherwise you will end up with a mess.
drizzle the icing equally over each of the canoes with a spoon and let it harden. putting it in the fridge for an hour or so helps hasten the process.
once the icing is set, cut the "canoes" diagonally. make them as big as you want. mine are usually 1 inch wide.
happy first full day of summer :)