Apricot Filled Cookies


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Makes about 12
The orange juice underscores the apricot flavor of the filling nicely, but if you don't have any, you can use all water. Note that the dough is rolled thinner here than for regular sugar cookies.

Combine in small saucepan:
1 1/2 cups dried apricots
1 cup orange juice
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons sugar

Bring to a simmer in small saucepan, cover, and cook over low heat until apricots are soft and most of juice is absorbed, about 25 minutes. Mash or process until smooth and let cool.

While apricots are simmering, cream together with electric mixer until light and fluffy:
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup granulated sugar

Beat in:
1 egg
1 teaspoon almond extract

Whisk together and add:
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt

Stir just until all ingredients are well blended; do not overmix. Chill dough thoroughly, about an hour, before rolling. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll half of dough out on a lightly floured counter to 1/8 inch thickness and cut, then transfer cookies onto cookie sheets that have been lined with parchment paper or silicone liners. Brush lightly with water, then place a generous tablespoon of apricot filling on each cookie. Roll and cut the remaining dough and place the cut cookies on the filling, pressing it down lightly. With your fingertips, press around the edges of the cookies to seal. With a paring knife or fork, poke a few holes in the top cookies to allow steam to escape. Bake 12 to 15 minutes, until lightly colored. Let cookies cool slightly on cookie sheets, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Dust with confectioner's sugar, if desired.