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Cardomom Quince Layer Cookies For The Great Blogger Cookie Swap

It's that time again, time for Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap  ! Do you have any idea how much pressure it is to bake cookies for three other food bloggers? When you are baking for your kid's teacher, your mom, your neighbour's and your mailman, you can make simple, delicious cookies. You can whip up ginger snaps, shortbread and sugar cookies and everyone is thrilled. You can't send a delicious, simple shortbread to three other food bloggers though because they can do that themselves. That would be like making strawberry freezer jam for Martha Stewart. It is certainly tasty but it just won't do. 

I spent the week thinking I was going to make Cardamom spiced palmiers until I realized that those are not the best cookies to be mailing out. They really are best eaten in the first couple of days so what would happen if the package was lost or delayed? What if the palmiers showed up all stale and horrible? I am already in trouble over the whole Marcella Hazan tomato sauce thing so I just can't take that chance. 

The next cookie I really wanted to make was a cornmeal layer cookie from the Martha Stewart Christmas Cookie book from 2001 but I can't find the magazine and I couldn't find the recipe online anywhere. In the end, I settled on adapting her icebox layer cookies so I could still use the same flavours that I wanted to use in the palmiers but in a heartier cookie that would stand up to shipping. I was happy that I had a jar of quince jam laying around because that is a flavour that really goes hand in hand with cardamom and rosewater and gives them a sort of Persian vibe.

Although I love these, I was kind of afraid that these cookies were too intensely flavoured but then Shack ate one, declared them delicious, popped a second cookie into his mouth and wandered out of the room. This is NOT a man who enjoys many of my forays into the land of exotic spice and tea laden baked goods so if he thought they were tasty, they will most likely be A-Okay with the masses but do keep in mind, these are a strongly flavoured cookie and are not for the faint of heart.

I also whipped up a nice, safe Chai Tea Cookie because I was a bit nervous about the whole deal but Shack said to send these, he really liked them and I was being a freak.

Well, so there you go.

I was the lucky recipient of three delicious cookies myself this year. Robyn from Planet Byn, sent me a bourban laced cookie that has a caramel baked inside of it so it's all gooey and sticky and delicious when you bite into it. The second cookie, courtesy of Dana from Hot Pink Apron was a soft, chewy confection full of white chocolate, nuts and dried cranberries and a tasty box of biscotti arrived from Katie at Katie's Plate. I love participating in this exchange, I adore getting packages of delicious cookies baked just for me and I love to get inspired by all their wonderful creations. I am already having an ulcer trying to decide what I am going to bake for Xmas 2014.

**I just want to say, I don't know what is going on with Blogger lately, but stuff isn't working properly and this post's font is all messed up. It doesn't look like this when I write it. It is a nice, sane, black, normal sized, lower case helvetica even now as I type.

Cardamom Quince Layer Cookies

Adapted from Martha Stewart
yields approx 4 1/2 dozen

Cardamom Rosewater Dough

3 cups AP flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cardamom
5 grinds black pepper
1cup butter at room temp
1cup sugar
1tsp rosewater
1 tsp vanilla

Approx 1/2 cup of either quince jam or jelly
heaping 1/2 cup ground pistachios

Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and cardamom in a large bowl.
Beat the butter and sugar in stand mixer for about five minutes, til pale and smooth. Beat in the egg and rosewater. Reduce sipped to low and add the flour mixture until well mixed.

Shape the dough into two disks, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour. I had to let the dough sit for a few minutes after removing it from the fridge to soften up just a touch for easier rolling.

Roll out the first disk on a floured piece of parchment to 1/8th inch thickness and cut out a 9"x2" strip. Put down another piece of parchment and carefully transport the 1st strip to that   Spread about 2 tsp of quince jam  over the strip of dough and then sprinkle about 2 tbls of pistachio on top of that.

Cut another identical strip of dough and carefully lay that on top of the first. I did four layers for each bar and. Do not put the jam and nuts on the top layer.

wrap that four layer bar in the parchment and set aside and you make another bar of four layers of 9"x2" strips exactly like the first. You should get three of these bars.

Put the three layered strips, each wrapped in parchment, into the fridge for at least two hours.

When it's time to bake, preheat the oven to 350F

Remove the dough from the fridge and slice each bar crosswise into 1/8" slices. Bake until firm, about 12 to 14 minutes, on a parchment lined baking sheet. Let cool on the sheet for a few minutes before carefully removing them to cool completely on a rack.

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