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Sicilian Apricot Cookies

Sicilian Apricot Cookies
Sicilian Apricot Cookies (Amy Davis, Baltimore Sun)
Josephine DiNenna's husband, Ernest, visited his hometown of Naples, Italy back in the 1950s and while there tried some Sicilian Apricot Cookies that a relative's neighbor brought over. He loved them so much that the neighbor gave him a lesson in how to make them. "Baking these cookies has been one of our family traditions for 30 years," said DiNenna, who lives in Baltimore County. "They are delicious!"

Makes 40 cookies

3 cups of all purpose flour

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3/4 cup of super fine granulated sugar

1 level tablespoon baking powder

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2 sticks of unsalted butter

2 eggs

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Filling*

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1 pound dried apricots (these need to soak overnight)

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

Zest of 1 orange

Zest of 1 lemon

*or buy a jar of apricot preserves

Glaze

2 cups powered sugar

Lemon juice, or fresh lemons

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix together flour, sugar, and baking powder. Add butter and start mixing dough until it looks like cornmeal. In a separate bowl, beat eggs and vanilla together then add them to dough. Mix well.

To make the filling, cut each apricot into 4 sections and place in a saucepan and cover with water. Let them soak overnight. Do not put in refrigerator. Drain water out of saucepan leaving approximately 1/2 cup in saucepan. Add sugar, zest of orange and lemon. Cook on low heat for 45 minutes. Stir often to prevent burning.

To make the glaze, put powered sugar in bowl, moisten powdered sugar with lemon juice, beat well until it's smooth.

Take a piece of dough the size of a walnut and flatten with palm of hand. Place 1/2 of a teaspoon of apricot filling to the center of the cookie. Bring two opposite corners to center, pinch firmly to seal. Place on a baking sheet. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until the bottom of the cookie is slightly brown. Remove cookies from oven to a wire rack to cool. Add the glaze over cool cookies.

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