How often do you see a picture of something that evokes a wonderful memory? Well that is what happened when I saw a Pinterest post of a Peach shape cookie Peach Cookie with Italian Cream.
When we were kids, a Christmas tradition was to spend Xmas eve at my Aunt and Uncle’s house. Each year Domenic and Theresa Mastrangelo would host a party to celebrate the holiday season as well as my Aunts birthday, with all their friends and family. Having a Birthday one day before Christmas isn’t always the best, but my Aunt turn lemons into lemonade!! She threw the biggest Birthday party each and every year. What a great time it was, we lived out of state, so when we would get there it was a time of reconnecting with family. There was always great food and a number of wonderful desserts, including a Rum Creme cake that was soaked so thoroughly you could get a little tipsy!!!
When I saw these peach cookies I was brought immediately back to those days. I asked my mom if I was correct in remembering these wonderful Peach shaped desserts. She told me that my Aunt had a friend that made these for her birthday each year.
So with that in mind I decided to try and recreate the memory. My sister remembers then original dessert to be more cake like, these are definitely a cookie texture, although dipping them in the schnapps changes the texture slightly.
You will need to give your self a few hours to make these gems.
First step is to make the Italian Cream. When putting the peach together the cream needs to be completely cooled. You could definitely make it the night before, just remember to cover it with plastic and let it touch the top of the cream so you don’t get that skin on top.
Next is to bake the cookies. It is a fairly simple cookie recipe, it is important to make sure that you are making the cookies as round as possible, this will help with the final step. Also you need to watch when cooking them, they need to just start to turn golden. If they get to brown on the bottom it is difficult to cut the center out of the cookie it breaks apart.
Once all the cookies are cut it is time to put them together. It is your choice at this point. The original recipe states that you put the cookie together and then dip in the liqueur of choice. I dipped the cookie first let it drain for 30 seconds and then put together and dipped in sugar. I must say these cookies were a huge success in my house!! Everyone loved them. The peach Schnapps gave it a very mild peach flavor, the cookie itself has lemon zest and it is very obvious in the cookie. If you aren’t a huge fan of lemon flavor or want more of a peach flavor I suggest you flavor the cookie or the cream with a peach flavoring. All in all this recipe was a success, I will work on my presentation a little more, but overall I love them. I have listed the recipe below.
The most important part of cooking is always enjoying the Journey! Have fun and let me know how they come out!!!
These cookies take a little time but are so worth the effort
In a medium pot add 3/4 cup of the milk and vanilla, heat on medium heat until milk just begins to boil. remove and let cool.
In medium mixing bowl add egg yolk and sugar and beat at medium high for 5 minutes, (you want it to be thick and creamy). slowly add 1/3 cup of the cooled boiled milk and continue beating, then add the flour a little at a time and beat til smooth
Add egg mixture to the medium pot with remaining boiled milk and cook over medium-low heat, continuously whisking briskly until mixture starts to boil. Reduce heat to low and continue whisking while you slowly add the remaining 1/4 cup milk, once all the milk is added and the cream is the thickness you need. Transfer to a glass bowl and cover with plastic (make sure it touches the cream, this keeps it from getting a skin on the top) and refrigerate till you are ready to use
Pre - heat oven to 350 F. Line 1 cookie sheet with Parchment paper.
In a large bowl add the flour, baking powder, sugar, butter , zest, vanilla and egg. Start to beat on medium speed, add a tablespoon of milk one at a time until it forms a soft dough, dough will be slightly sticky.
With floured hands roll the dough into 16 balls, (try and make as even as possible). Place on parchment paper cookie sheet, about 1 inch apart. Bake for approximately 15 to 20 minutes. (cookies should stay a light color)
Let the cookies cool enough to be held, then with a sharp small knife remove the middle of the cookie (make a small well/hole), the cookies should be still warm when cutting them, they will split and crack if they are to hot or to cold.
At this point your Cream should be completely cool.
You will need a bowl for the sugar and a deep coffee cup for the schnapps. In the schnapps add 1 to 2 drops of red food coloring, not to much you want the cookie to have a pink to peach color.
Now this is where I veered off the original recipe. They instruct that you dip your whole cookie with cream into the Liqueur. I tried and it was a challenge, I decided to dip the 2 cookies and then filled them with the cream. It was just easier than trying to hold the cookie together and keep the cream in tact.
So dip each halve of the cookie and let drain for a minute. Don't soak cookie in the liqueur, it will fall apart a quick dip to color the cookie. then drain for 30 seconds, if there is to much liquid pooling on the cookie the sugar will clump, then fill with cream, put the cookie together and roll in the sugar.
A few suggestions:
1. Make Italian Pastry Cream ahead of time. It needs to be firm and cool to construct the cookie. It takes at least 2 hours to cool.
2. I used peach Schnapps, you will need to ad 1 or 2 drops of red food coloring to get the pink color of the peach.
3. When dipping the cookie, do not soak, the cookie will fall apart in your hand when you are working with it. Just a quick dip to color the cookie and have a slight flavor of Peach.
3. Original recipe tells you to put the cookie together and then dip. I choose to dip the empty cookie first place on rack to drain any extra peach schnapps and then add cream and roll in sugar.