Updated: Apr 27, 2019
These cute little peach cookies are a fun (and edible!) optical illusion, and who doesn't love those?
The ideal filling for these is peach jam which gives the cookies a nice little bit of peach flavour along with some moisture and textural contrast. If you can't find peach jam then you can use apricot jam as the two are pretty similar.
Alternatively, if you want to use up all the crumbs you got from hollowing out your cookies (or if you don't have enough jam), I've provided a filling option for that approach as well however you definitely lose some of the peach flavour. If you're using the crumb filling, I suggest keeping your almond pieces large enough to provide some textural contrast. I took slivered almonds, put them in a sandwich bag, and used a metal measuring cup to smash them several times. You don't want to completely pulverize them into almond flour since the point of them is to provide some crunch. Sure, peaches aren't crunchy, but the cookies are more enjoyable with textural contrast either from straight up jam or from the almond pieces.
For this recipe, you don't need fancy gel food colouring. I used the cheap liquid food colouring you can pick up at the grocery store and it worked perfectly.
Makes 12-15 peach cookies
For the cookies:
350 g all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
1 large egg
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/4 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup milk
For the filling:
Peach jam (or apricot jam)
crumbs from hollowing out cookies
1/4 cup peach jam (or apricot jam)
2 tbsp peach nectar (or peach schnapps)
1/2 cup almond pieces
For the assembly:
2/3 cups water, divided (1/3 cup each into two glasses)
Liquid red food colouring
Liquid yellow food colouring
Granulated sugar for dusting
Muffin tin liners
Small mint or basil leaves (with a bit of stem still on) for decorating
Preheat oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Mix together dry ingredients and set aside.
In medium bowl, beat egg and sugar together until light and a little frothy.
Add oil and beat again for about 1 minute.
Add vanilla and peach nectar then mix on low speed until well combined.
Add flour mixture a little at a time until well combined, it should form a thick dough that isn’t too sticky. It should mostly hold its shape when formed into a ball. If you feel the dough is too wet, sprinkle in a little more flour (about 1 tsp at a time) and mix.
Roll the dough into 1-1.5 inch balls and place on prepared baking sheet. They will puff up but not spread, so they don’t need to be too far apart, about 1.5 inches apart is plenty.
Bake for 13-15 minutes until bottoms are just starting to become golden then cool on baking sheet for 2 minutes before transferring to cooling rack.
Once completely cool, flip cookies over and use a sharp knife to dig out the middle of the cookie. You don't want to pierce all the way through, and you want to keep a border of cookie bottom around the edges so you'll be able to stick 2 halves together.
Pair up cookies by size, then fill each half of a pair so it is a little overly full. Gently press halves together, then use your finger to smooth around the seam so you can get rid of the excess. Put cookie down so that one of the halves is upside down and the seam runs horizontally (this is to ensure they don't slide out of shape). Allow cookies to rest for at least 30 minutes so the two halves can be properly stuck together.
Put sugar into a bowl or plastic container and set aside.
Put 1/3 cup water in each of 2 glasses. To the first glass, stir in red food colouring until very red (I used 8 drops - you can use more if you want the cookies redder than pictured above). To the second glass, repeat with yellow (I also used 8 drops of the yellow, feel free to use more if desired).
Dip a cookie into the red water a little bit more than half way up the cookie, then immediately pull out of the water and towel off excess water, then dunk the other end into the yellow so that the red part of the cookie goes into the yellow slightly. Towel off excess water again, then drop cookie into sugar and gently shake bowl around until cookie is fully coated in sugar. Transfer cookie to muffin liner to dry and place mint or basil leaf into seam of cookie. Repeat with remaining cookies. Cookies can be stored in the fridge for up to 2 weeks, but remove from fridge 30 minutes before eating so they can come to room temperature.