I love recipes that can be used in several different ways. If I have leftovers of something, you can be sure, they will be used! So, these cookies are really special in that the components are great for cookies, but you can also make them into a free-form tart, and you could make them into other things I’m sure, too!
These were originally made for a super rad Random Act of Pastry order this month. It was for a beer tasting and cheese with Open Harvest (my local co-op that I LOVE) and Zipline Brewing Company. The last course was these little gevulde koeken, or Dutch butter cookie filled with almond paste. I added local quark from Branched Oak Farm because it was a cheese tasting and quark goes well in just about anything. The cheese buyer at Open Harvest just became a Certified Cheese Professional, and they wanted to celebrate!
If you make anything I’ve posted on this site, ever, I would recommend making these. Unless you are vegan or afraid of butter. I really, really should not eat dairy and the smell of these insanely buttery cookies cooking (and sitting on my counter) was too insanely intoxicating for me to resist. The bites were some of the flakiest I’ve ever had. The dough was a joy to cut and baked up perfectly. The almond paste and quark filling baked perfectly into the two pieces of dough, making it almost indistinguishable in texture. It’s divine. You really don’t have to put the teal glaze on top. They are super, mega classy without it, but I couldn’t resist some teal glaze for this celebration.
I made loads of cookies, then I used the remainder of the dough to make a big circle-ish shape. I piled the rest of the filling in the middle and folded up the sides, putting some Jonagold apples on top. You guys, the smells. The smells of this thing reminds me why I love to bake so much. It’s completely irresistible. The smell wafts. Honestly? I woke up in the middle of the night, smelling it, and actually got myself out of a warm bed to take a tiny bite of the cookie crust. Russell said, after trying it, “That fruit pizza was great.” FRUIT PIZZA. Gotta love him!
I beg you to make these, if only for the smells. Take it around with you if you want to make friends. Take it on a date if you really want the other person to fall in love with you. Bake this stuff just to smell it on a rainy day.
Butter Cookie Dough
2 1/4 c all-purpose flour
1/2 c granulated sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 3/4 stick butter
1 Tbsp cold water
Mix together all dry ingredients, add in butter, one tablespoon at a time. Using your fingers, or the paddle attachment of a stand mixer, process the butter into the dry ingredients until it feels and looks like fine sand. Add in the water and mix to combine – until it comes together in a ball. Wrap with plastic in a flat circle shape and let sit in the fridge for at least an hour, up to one week.
1 c almond paste (use this brand)
2 Tbsp sugar
1 egg white
1/2 c quark
1 tsp almond extract
3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
Mix everything in a stand mixer, or by hand until it’s fairly smooth. A few small chunks are totally fine.
To assemble: Let the dough sit out at room temp for about 30 minutes before you try to roll it out. Flour your counter and roll out the dough to about 1/4″ thick. Cut 2″ rounds. Put half of the rounds on a lined/greased baking sheet. Egg wash the round. Dollop in one teaspoon of filling in the center of each circle of dough. Put the other circles (the second half of them) on top of each cookie and press the edges to seal. Egg wash the top and put a sliced almond in the center.
Bake at 415 degrees Fahrenheit for about 15 minutes, or until really brown and smell amazing. Let cool.
For the free-form tart: Roll to 1/4″ thick into a circle-ish shape. Fill the center with the filling, leaving about two inches of empty dough on the edges. Fold up the edges. Add slices of apple. Egg wash all of the exposed dough and sprinkle turbinado sugar on the apples. Bake at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for about 25 minutes, or until, again, it smells amazing.