Aidas from Payard Cookies by Francois Payard.
These cookies are small but rich: Their dough contains almond paste and chocolate, and they are filled with praline paste and dipped in more chocolate. It makes them perfect to serve instead of a full-size dessert. This is one of my dad’s recipes; but while he only filled them, I dip them too, which allows them to stand on one end. This recipe makes a large amount of cookies and the dough softens up quickly when you roll it out, so unless you need a lot of cookies, I suggest you bake half of it at a time, reducing the amount of filling accordingly.
Makes 100 sandwich cookies
- 2 ounces (56 grams, about 3 1/2 tablespoons) almond paste
- ½ cup (60 grams) confectioners’ sugar
- 15 tablespoons (220 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 ounces (56 grams) chocolate (61% cacao), melted
- 2 1/2 cups (320 grams) all-purpose flour
- 3 large egg whites
- Pinch of salt
- 1/4 cup (75 grams) praline paste
- 8 ounces (240 grams) chocolate, melted
Make the dough: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the almond paste and confectioners’ sugar together on medium speed until the mixture becomes pale and fluffy. Add the butter a little at a time to keep lumps from forming, then mix in the melted chocolate until everything is combined. On low speed, starting with the flour, alternate adding the flour and egg whites (this will ensure that the mixture stays smooth). Add the salt and mix until fully combined.
Remove the dough from the bowl, divide it in half, wrap each half in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for about 2 hours, or until it is chilled all the way through. You can also freeze the dough, well wrapped in plastic and stored in an airtight container, for up to 1 month.
On a lightly floured surface, working with one piece of dough at a time, roll out the dough until it is about [1/8] inch thick. Transfer it to a parchment-lined tray or baking sheet, and place it back in the freezer until it firms up again, about 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C) and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Use a 1 1/4-inch round cookie cutter to cut out circles and transfer them to the baking sheets. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the edges turn a light brown color. Remove the cookies from the oven and let them cool completely on the baking sheets. Repeat with the remaining dough.
Assemble the cookies: Invert half of the cookies and spread a small amount of praline paste onto the bottom of each. Place another cookie of similar size over the praline paste, and press lightly to sandwich them. Dip the sandwiched cookies halfway into the melted chocolate. To let the chocolate dry, you can stand the cookie up on its tips or lay it down. Refrigerate until the chocolate is cold and firm, about 30 minutes, then store the cookies in an airtight container in a cool, dry place for up to 3 days, with a sheet of parchment or waxed paper in between each layer.