Chocolate-and almond-dipped sandwich cookies

I am looking for a Christmas cookie to give away and I came across this recipe taken from The Bon Appetit Cookbook by B. Fairchild. It is a very rich cookie. The ganache makes way more then you need, so I would make half next time. The recipe asks for an oval cookie cutter but I just used a round one. I used semi-sweet chocolate chips for the filling and the coating.(1/4 cup equals 1 ounce) I made about 22 sandwich cookies.



Cookies
1 cup sugar, divided
1/4 cup slivered almonds
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 large egg yolk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour


Filling
1 cup whipping cream
12 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, chopped


Coating
6 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
1 1/4 cups slivered almonds, toasted, chopped


FOR COOKIES: Place 1/4 cup sugar and slivered almonds in processor; grind almonds fine. Using electric mixer, beat butter and remaining 3/4 cup sugar in large bowl until well blended. Beat in egg yolk, vanilla, and salt. Add ground nut mixture and flour; beat until moist clumps form. Gather dough together; divide in half. Shape each half into disk. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate at least 1 hour and up to 2 days.


POSITION 1 rack in top third of oven and second rack in bottom third; preheat to 325F. Line 2 large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Roll out 1 dough disk between sheets of waxed paper or parchment paper to scant 1/4-inch thickness, sprinkling dough lightly with flour as needed to keep from sticking and occasionally peeling off top paper to remove wrinkles. Peel off top paper. Using 2 1/2×1 1/2-inch oval cookie cutter (or cardboard template), cut out cookies. If dough is soft, slide rimless baking sheet under paper and chill dough 10 minutes to firm. Transfer cookies to prepared baking sheets, spacing 1/2 inch apart. Gather scraps and reroll dough, cutting out more cookies. Chill cookies on sheets 15 minutes.


BAKE cookies 5 minutes. Reverse position of sheets and bake until cookies begin to color, about 6 minutes longer. Cool cookies on sheets 5 minutes. Transfer to racks and cool completely. Repeat with remaining dough.


FOR FILLING: Bring cream to simmer in heavy medium saucepan. Remove from heat. Add chocolate; whisk until melted and smooth. Let filling cool until thick but still spreadable, stirring occasionally, about 2 hours.


Place half of cookies, bottom side up, on work surface. Spoon filling into pastry bag fitted with small plain tip. Pipe (or spread) filling over cookies, leaving 1/4-inch plain border. Top each with second cookie, bottom side down, and press to adhere.


FOR COATING: Stir chocolate in top of double boiler set over simmering water until melted and smooth. Place toasted almonds in small bowl. Dip end of 1 cookie sandwich in chocolate, then in almonds. Transfer to sheet of aluminum foil. Repeat with remaining cookies. Let stand until coating is set. (Can be prepared 2 days ahead. Store in airtight container between sheets of waxed paper in the refrigerator.)

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