This is an adaptation of a recipe by Live Simply.
These classic holiday cookies are get a healthy makeover with heritage grain flour and pure apple cider jelly from New England. Boiled Apple Cider and Cider Jelly has been a New England tradition since the time of the first settlers in the 1600s. The Woods family has been making Cider Jelly since 1882. They grind and press apples on the farm's original screw press to make sweet cider and evaporate it in a wood-fired stainless steel evaporator to make Cider Jelly. The cider from about 30 to 50 apples is concentrated in every pound of Cider Jelly. No sugar, preservatives or even pectin are added, just pure, concentrated apple cider.
Preheat the oven to 350F and line baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, using a hand mixer (or stand mixer), cream the butter and sugar together.
Add the egg yolks, almond extract, lemon zest and lemon juice and beat until combined.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and salt to remove any clumps. With the mixer running on low, gradually add the flour mixture until combined with the butter mixture.
Roll the dough into small balls about 1 1/2 inches wide and place on the cookie sheet 3 inches apart. This is a great job for the kids.
Use your thumb to make a little well in the cookies but be careful not to press too far, there needs to be enough cookie at the bottom to keep it from breaking apart.
Fill each well (made with your thumbprint) with about ½ teaspoon of jam.
Bake the cookies for 12-15 minutes, until just beginning to brown on the edges.
Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 5-10 minutes before carefully removing to a rack to cool completely. Do NOT move the cookies until they cool some or they will break. The jam and cookies need time to set.
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