A special Kissing the Cook welcome to new subscriber, and long time Facebook friend, Pauline Motzko! (Pauline’s “Cookng Up a Storm All Over the World” site is a resource that may be of interest to KTC readers as well.)
Should any readers be concerned that this is a recipe for a cookie inspired by a hard round item of sports equipment, fear not. The real inspiration for this delicious, sweet (and, as always, reduced-fat) cookie is an under-appreciated cocktail called a Bocce Ball, consisting of Amaretto (almond liqueur) and orange juice.
And so we have Bocce Ball Cookies, delicious almond butter sandwich cookies with orange cream filling. If you don’t want to use almond butter, peanut butter might work as well, but since I have never liked peanut butter I didn’t try it. Besides, almond butter comes with some real health benefits! Click here to check out what the folks at livestrong.com had to say about almond butter.
Speaking of ingredient substitutions, it’s possible to use either almond extract or Amaretto when making the cookie dough. The choice is yours. Also worth a mention is the fat-free half-and-half that helps make the orange filling so good. It’s an ingredient I can recommend as an important part of your low-fat baking tool box.
This recipe makes 18 sandwich cookies, each about 2-1/2” in diameter.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
In a medium bowl, sift together 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour, ¾ teaspoons baking soda, and ½ teaspoon salt.
In another bowl, using an electric hand mixer or stand mixer with whisk attachment, combine ½ cup of very cold butter substitute (I used Smart Balance for its texture, which is firmer than many other butter substitutes), ½ cup granulated sugar, ½ cup packed brown sugar, ¾ cup of almond butter (either creamy or chunky), and 1 teaspoon of almond extract or amaretto. When combined, beat in 1 egg substitute egg and 2 tablespoons skim milk.
Add the flour mixture to the almond butter mixture and beat till combined to form a soft dough.
While the dough is chilling, make the orange filling as follows:
- Simmer until the mixture is reduced by half, about 10 minutes, stirring very often avoid burning. Once the mixture is reduced, pour into a separate bowl and set aside to cool until ready to use.
Roll the dough out to 1/8” thick, and cut into about 36 cookies with a 2” diameter cookie cutter. (They’ll spread to about 2-1/2” in the oven.) Bake about 12 – 14 minutes on parchment lined sheets, turning the cookie sheets halfway for more even baking.
After the cookies have finished baking, allow to rest on the baking sheets for 2 minutes, then transfer to racks till cooled.
Turn half of the cookies over so that the flat sides are facing up. Spread about a teaspoon of filling to each flat-side-up cookie, and allow to rest until the filling has cooled.
Also: here’s a link for a bonus “rerun” recipe for your cooking enjoyment! Peach Crepes
Enjoy these delicious, low-guilt cookies! And I hope you’ll visit again next week for another kitchen-tested, reduced-fat recipe! Till then, stay well, keep it about the food, and always remember to kiss the cook. ;-)