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Aunt Emma’s Apricot Cookies

This recipe is one of Victor’s family treasures from his Aunt Emma. Several members of the family make them every year, as we do.  The competition to see whose taste the most like Aunt Emma’s is intense. Naturally, ours come out best every year – no matter what anyone else says!!

Filling:

  • 1 pound dried apricots, chopped fine (soaked overnight – we soak in apricot brandy!)
  • 3 cups sugar
  • grated lemon rind (we use about a tablespoon – the amount was never specified)

Drain apricots. Place in saucepan with lemon rind, sugar, and water to cover. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cook until water is absorbed.  Be really careful — it burns easily.  Cool.

Dough:

  • 2 pkg dry yeast
  • 5 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 pound lard (Yes, lard. Shortening just doesn’t cut it.)
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 shot whiskey
  • Juice and rind from 1 lemon

Proof yeast with 1 tsp sugar and 1/4 cup warm water.  Cut lard into flour, as you would for a pie dough.  Make a well in the mixture and add all the other ingredients, including yeast.

Work dough with your hands and form into a ball.  (Don’t overwork.  Use a light hand.)  Refrigerate overnight.

Roll cold dough to about 1/8″ thick.  Aunt Emma would cut the dough into triangles, place a scant teaspoon of filling at the wide end, then roll up and shape into a crescent similar to a croissant. It takes a bit of practice. The easier way is to cut squares, fill, and fold over. Cut into 2″ squares or circles. Place scant teaspoon of filling, fold and seal. Shape into crescent.

Bake at 325° until golden brown on lightly greased sheets or ungreased parchment paper. (Investing in a box of parchment paper is the only way to fly!!)
Cool completely and dust with powdered sugar.

*We took the shortcut one year and the family almost shot us!  The cookies TASTED fantastic, but that wasn’t the point – they weren’t Aunt Emma’s cookie!  One comment from Uncle Rudy – at least the printable one – was “they’re dumplings, not cookies.”

*Another thing – Crisco just doesn’t work as well as Lard.  Oh, we know that lard has a really bad reputation and all, but it REALLY makes the best, most tender dough.

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