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chocolate-raspberry almond spritz

Chocolate-Raspberry Almond Spritz

Makes: 2 1/2 dozen

1/2 cup blanched whole almonds
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup softened butter
1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
3 tablespoons seedless raspberry jam

Heat oven to 350 degrees 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-inch diameter). Pipe dough into teardrop shapes (about 2 x 1 1/2 inches), 1 inch apart, onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake cookies 12-14 minutes until lightly browned around edges.

Allow cookies to cool slightly on cookie sheets. Remove to racks to cool completely. When cookies are cool, prepare Chocolate-Raspberry Filling.

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

In saucepan over low heat, heat cream to boiling.

Meanwhile, finely chop chocolate and place in small bowl with 3 tablespoons jam. 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 15-18 minutes. If mixture becomes too firm, let stand at room temperature until slightly softened.

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