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Dress up these almond-flavored sugar cookies with a simple cooked blackberry filling spiced with cinnamon and cloves. Almond blackberry cookies taste as good as they look and are easy to package in a jar or cellophane bag tied with a ribbon for a sweet gift.
Tear a sheet of baking paper about 35 cm long. Set aside.
Place blackberries, 3 tablespoons sugar, cinnamon, cloves, and water into a medium saucepan. Heat blackberry mixture over medium-high heat just until it begins to boil while stirring occasionally, reduce heat to medium-low. Allow blackberry mixture to simmer until thickened, about 10 minutes while stirring and mashing berries occasionally with a potato masher. You should have about 1/2 cup blackberry filling. Set aside and let blackberry filling to cool completely.
Beat butter and remaining 3/4 cup sugar with an electric mixer until very light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Add egg, almond extract, and vanilla extract. Beat butter mixture again until ingredients are incorporated. Then set aside butter mixture. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Then add flour mixture to butter mixture gradually WHILE BEATING on low speed until ingredients are incorporated. Do not over mix. Pour out dough onto baking paper. Roll out dough to a rectangle about 30 cm by 20 cm and ½ cm thick. Spread blackberry filling over dough leaving 2 inches of boarder around edges. Roll up dough into a tight log starting from the long side using parchment paper to help lift and roll. Then tightly wrap dough log in plastic wrap. Refrigerate dough log at least 4 hours.
Preheat oven to 175ºC. Line 2 baking trays with baking paper. Slice dough log into cookies about ½ cm thick, then arrange 12 cookies on each baking sheet leaving 2½ cm between cookies. Bake for 13 to 15 minutes or until cookies just begin to brown. Remove cookies from oven and immediately sprinkle with granulated sugar or sanding sugar (if using). Cool cookies on baking sheets for 2 minutes, then transfer cookies to wire racks to cool completely.
1 punnet Driscoll's Blackberries
3 tablespoons plus ¾ cup sugar, divided
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons water
1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon almond extract
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons granulated sugar or sanding sugar (optional)
⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 large egg