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Martha Bakes: Almonds

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With Martha Bakes, discover Martha Stewart’s tips and techniques to create delectable baked goods. Be sure to check your local listings to see when the program will be airing in your area.

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Almonds show up in everything these days from milk to butter. Martha invites almond expert, Priscilla Martel, to teach us about this versatile nut. Then, discover two very special recipes: an ice-cream truck inspired almond-crunch ice cream cake and a gorgeous old-fashioned gelatin dessert known as blancmange. Plus, baker Matt Lewis, makes tantalizing almond sandwich cookies.

This Week’s Recipe

Almond-Shortbread Sandwich Cookies

Make Martha Stewart's Almond-Shortbread Sandwich Cookies from the Almonds episode of Martha Bakes.

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Ingredients

  • Cookies:
  • 5 cups whole skin-on almonds
  • 3 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 1/2 sticks (2 cups plus 4 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 2 large egg yolks, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Filling:
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature

Directions

  1. Cookies: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread almonds in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until noticeably darkened and fragrant, 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer sheet to a wire rack; let cool completely.
  2. Pulse almonds in a food processor until finely ground. Measure
  3. 1 1/2 cups almonds into a medium bowl; set remainder aside. Add flour and salt to bowl; whisk to combine.
  4. In a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter with confectioners’ sugar until smooth and well combined. Beat in egg yolks and vanilla. Gradually add almond-flour mixture, beating until dough just comes together (do not overmix). Turn dough out onto a work surface and divide in half. Shape each half into a 12-inch log (about 1 3/4 inches in diameter); wrap each log in plastic. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.
  5. Measure 1/2 cup reserved almonds onto a sheet of parchment; roll each log in nuts to coat. Cut logs into 1/4-inch-thick slices, discarding ends. Transfer slices to parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing about 1 inch apart. Bake, rotating sheets halfway through, until edges are slightly browned, 18 to 20 minutes. Transfer sheets to wire racks; let cool completely.
  6. Filling: Pulse remaining 3 cups reserved almonds and salt in a food processor on low speed, scraping down sides frequently. Mixture will look dry but continue pulsing until it reaches a smooth, spreadable consistency, 15 to 20 minutes.
  7. In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together 1 cup almond butter (reserve remaining 1/2 cup for another use), confectioners’ sugar, and butter until smooth, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Transfer to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch round tip.
  8. Pipe a small amount of filling onto bottoms of half the cookies, then sandwich with remaining cookies. Filled cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature up to 1 week.

Yield: 42 cookies

 

Additional Recipes

Additional recipes and video clips from the episode are available on MarthaStewart.com:

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