Love Letters (Valentine Cookies)

These cookies are Hungarian in origin. The soft, tender dough is in a shape of a letter delivering a sweet raspberry/almond message in the center. The perfect Valentine’s Day cookie.

1 cup butter (2 sticks), softened
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon orange zest, finely grated
2/3 cup sour cream
2 3/4 cup white flour

1 cup almonds, finely chopped
1/3 cup raspberry jam (or red currant)
1/8 teaspoon almond extract

2 egg whites, beaten
Sugar for sprinkling on top

In mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add salt, orange peel, and sour cream. Gradually add flour to form a soft dough. Mix thoroughly. Chill completely or overnight for easier handling.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix filling ingredients. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to a 1/8 inch thickness. Cut into 3 inch squares. Place a teaspoon of filling in center of each cookie. Fold each pair of diagonally opposite ends to the center, and seal. Place on a lightly greased baking sheet. Brush with beaten egg white and tops with sugar. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on wire rack. Yield: 2 to 2 1/2 dozen 3 inch cookies.

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