Friday, December 11, 2009

Giada's Cookies

Of all the celebrity chefs, the one my husband has a little crush on is Giada De Laurentiis. (Better luck next time, Mario Batali.) I think Rachael Ray is cute, but Guy finds her to be too "stumpy."

Giada is cute and perky but with a sophisticated European edge. She looks a lot like Natalie Portman, but without the annoying personality. She's like Natalie's fun older sister, the one that you meet and think, "Wow! Natalie's sister is so cool! Why is Natalie such a drip?":

"Born in Rome, Giada grew up in a large Italian family where the culture of food was a staple in and of itself. As the granddaughter of film producer Dino De Laurentiis, Giada consistently found herself in the family's kitchen and spent a great deal of time at her grandfather's restaurant, DDL Foodshow. After graduating from the University of California in Los Angeles with a degree in anthropology, Giada's passion for cooking remained. She eventually made the decision to commence a culinary career and began her professional training at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, specializing in both cuisine and pastry."

Anyway, I found this recipe for Giada's Apricot and Nut Cookies with Amaretto Icing linked from one of my favorite blogs. They look so delicious!!

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 large egg
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup dried apricots, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted
2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
1 3/4 cups confectioners' sugar
5 to 7 tablespoons almond flavored liqueur (recommended: Amaretto)

For the Cookies: In a large bowl, beat the butter, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the egg. Stir in the flour until just blended. Mix in the apricots, almonds, and pine nuts.

Transfer the dough to a sheet of plastic wrap and shape into a log, about 12-inches long and 1 1/2-inches in diameter. Wrap the dough in the plastic and refrigerate for 2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 heavy baking sheets with parchment paper.

Cut the dough log crosswise into 1/4 to 1/2 inch-thick slices. Transfer the cookies to the prepared baking sheets, spacing evenly apart. Bake until the cookies are golden around the edges, about 15 minutes. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely before icing.

For the Icing: Place the confectioners' sugar in a medium mixing bowl. Gradually whisk in the almond flavored liqueur, until the mixture is of drizzling consistency.

Place the wire rack over a baking sheet. Using a spoon or fork, drizzle the cookies with the icing, allowing any excess icing to drip onto the baking sheet. Allow the icing to set before serving, about 30 minutes.


  1. No, no, I was talking about the recipe. Are you going to make those? And the babka?

  2. I don't [usually] like apricots, but those cookies look scrumptious. Sigh. Maybe with dried peaches?

  3. I bet dried peaches would work great! I wonder if you could even do dried cherries?

  4. I made these with sour cherries and apricots—delishulous! (Oo, that sounds like a word Kathy Casey would make up. Is it too late to retract it?) I only used pinenuts because a certain person in the household dislikes what he calls "tree nuts"—SIGH—and the liquor store was out of teeny bottles of amaretto so I substituted lemon juice and kirsch in the icing. *Kirsch! It's not just for fondue anymore.* The cookies had a really nice texture, like shortbread but less buttery. And the exciting thing is that I still have half the dough in a tidy little log in the fridge... these cookies are so pretty, certainly by the standards of MY kitchen. Thanks for postin', Beebo!

  5. i forgot to mention that i added just un petit peu de almond extract, to good effect. make sure it's just un petit peu, though—that stuff will creep up on you.