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Chocolate Raspberry Almond Spritz Cookies


2 1/2 dozen cookies


1/2 cup blanched whole almonds
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup butter or margarine, room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
3 tablespoons seedless raspberry jam


Preheat oven to 350°F.

In food processor with knife blade attached, blend almonds with sugar, pulsing processor on and off until almonds are finely ground. (Or, in blender, grind almonds with sugar in batches.)

On low speed, beat almond mixture, flour, butter, almond extract, salt, and egg just until blended, scraping bowl occasionally with rubber spatula. Spoon dough into large decorating bag with large star tube (about 3/4" diameter). Pipe dough into teardrop shapes (about 2" x 1 1/2"), 1" apart, onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake cookies 12 to 14 minutes until lightly browned around edges. Cool 2 minutes on cooling grid. Remove cookies from cookie sheet and continue to cool on grid.

Finely chop chocolate and place in small bowl with jam. In small saucepan over low heat, heat whipping cream to boiling. Pour hot cream over chocolate mixture. Let stand 1 minute. Stir chocolate mixture until smooth. Refrigerate until chocolate mixture is firm enough to spread, about 15 to 18 minutes. If mixture becomes too firm, let stand at room temperature until slightly softened.

Spread about 1 rounded teaspoon filling onto flat side of half of cookies. Top with remaining cookies, flat-side down, to make filled cookies.

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