Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Cherry Sachet Cookies

 Today sachets are known for just making things smell sweet. Basically like a bag of potpourri to place in your drawer. Now they are not only for that, but there are several different type of fillings as well.  The variety has most likely come about with potpourri being introduced into the market.

Early on, they were considered a love token.  Then with the medievil era, they were considered "plague bags" to ward off insect and disease.  In the 19th century, Prince Albert had some which were filled with hops and used them to help induce him to sleep.

These particular cookies are like a filled pouch,  much like a sachet. Also, the filling does have its own special aroma when cooking-however the alcohol fumes can be overwhelming!

The outside cookie is made with cream cheese and cooks up very crisp.  Inside is a chewy mixture of cherries and almonds.  The cherries are cooked in a blend of creme de cacao and creme de noyaux.  This is kind of like a fig newton with its own unique filling and a crisper cookie shell.

Before we get to the recipe I have a few bloggers to thank:

CJ at Food Stories: She was so nice to award me with not just one but three awards!  CJ started her blog in January and has really bounded onto the scene.  She has a great angle of creating something with the same ingredient as called for on that particular national food day.  Also, she created her own special award for bloggers.  A few of my food pics from her site are the deep dish chocolate chip cookies and cauliflower rice.

Ambreen at Simply Sweet and Savory:She passed the Versatile blogger award to me. Her blog does showcase her skill for both sides of the fence.  With stunning photos, you will be enticed by a number of her posts.  Not only can you find delicious recipes, but a lot of them you cannot find anywhere else.

Stop in and say hi, you will be glad you did.

Cherry Sachet Cookies  -makes about 2 dozen cookies
by flourtrader

3/4 cup creme de cacao
3/4 cup creme de noyaux or amaretto (almond liqueur)
2/3 cups of  chopped dried cherries
1/3 cup chopped almonds
1/4 cup sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
3 oz softened cream cheese
1/4 cup or 1/2 stick of butter
1 egg
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt

To make the filling, pour liquid filing ingredients into saucepan and add sugar.  Place over medium high heat and stir until sugar has dissolved.  Then add the cherries.  Let simmer and come to a low boil, stirring occasionally.  Cook for 15-20 minutes.  You want that the mixture to become syrupy and most of the liquid to evaporate.  Remove from heat and stir in chopped almonds.  Let cool to room temperature.

The cookie batter can be made while the filling is cooling.  Beat together the cream cheese, butter  and flavor extracts until light and fluffy.  Add the sugar and the egg and mix until completely blended.  Set aside.

Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.  Then fold into cream cheese batter until no dry streaks remain.  Refrigerate dough for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and butter the inside of one baking sheet.

Once the dough has chilled, roll it out on a floured surface  about 16 x 5 inches and 1/4 inch in height. Then cut in half, making 2 rectangles 8X5.  Then spoon filling down the length of the bottom half of each rectangle, leaving a 1/4 inch border on the right/left and bottom. Use a knife to smooth it out evenly.  Fold dough over and seal edges.  Then push bottom length and folded edge closer together so there are no air pockets and fold sealed edges under.

Place each on a baking sheet about 3-4 inches apart.  Then bake until the edges become crispy, about 25-30 minutes.  Remove and quickly slice into pieces and place on rack to finish cooling.

Tips and Notes:
1. When chopping, use your judgment on size of pieces.  The smaller the pieces are the more of a clean cut you will get.
2. You want to make sure that the filling is distributed evenly, so you do not have a big chunk of cookie without filling.
3. Feel free to use cherry juice or other liquids if you want this to be non-alcoholic.
                         **LAST YEAR:Passion Fruit Cupcakes**