- 2 cups all-purpose flour*
- 1 2/3 cups almond flour
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon cloves (optional)
- 2 3/4 sticks (22 tablespoons) unsalted butter, soft
- 1 cup Imperial Sugar Extra Fine Granulated Sugar
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon fresh orange zest, no white bitter pith
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon zest, no white bitter pith
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
- 1 jar red fruit spread such as strawberry (or jam of choice)
- 1 teaspoon edible gold stars (optional)
*Spoon & Sweep method: Use a spoon to fill measuring cup with flour until required amount is obtained. Scooping measuring cup directly into flour bag will firmly pack flour resulting in too much flour required for recipe.
- Whisk together flour, almond flour, cinnamon, and cloves. Set aside.
- Mix butter until creamy. Add sugar followed by egg yolk, salt, orange and lemon zest. Mix until well mixed.
- Add dry ingredients and mix very briefly until just combined.
- Press dough flat onto a plastic food film-lined cookie sheet and place in freezer until firm, about 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Wrap a couple of cutting boards or flat trays with plastic food wrap and place them in a freezer.
- This dough is sticky, making it a challenge to roll. Sprinkle dough with flour and roll between 2 sheets of thick plastic (like food storage bags). Alternatively, roll floured dough on parchment paper. For either method use as little flour as possible as extra flour makes these baked cookies less delicate. Roll half of chilled dough 1/4-inch thick. If dough gets too soft, return partially rolled dough to freezer and continue rolling when firm.
- Cut dough using a tree-shaped cutter. Cut as close as possible to obtain maximum amount of cutouts. Place on parchment-lined cookie sheets. If dough gets too soft to cut, return to freezer briefly. Place in oven for about 11-12 minutes or until golden.
- Roll remaining dough and place on plastic-lined pre-chilled boards. Cut a smaller tree out of larger tree and place it on a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet.
- Bake until golden, about 10-11 minutes.
- Once cookies have cooled proceed by combining chocolate and oil in a small microwave-proof bowl. Heat in 7 second increments until 2/3 of chocolate is melted. Do not return to microwave oven. Keep stirring chocolate until all lumps are dissolved.
- On the solid tree, spread about 1 teaspoon of melted chocolate onto surface. Place a cutout tree on top. Fill center with jam and sprinkle with gold stars.