1 cup sugar
1/2 cup mascarpone cheese, softened
1/4 teaspoon almond flavoring
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
6 (1-ounce) squares bittersweet baking chocolate
Combine sugar and 1/2 cup butter in bowl. Beat on medium speed, scraping bowl often, until creamy. Add egg, mascarpone cheese and almond flavoring; continue beating until well mixed. Add flour, baking powder and salt; beat at low speed until well mixed.
Divide dough in half. Shape each into disk; flatten slightly. Wrap each half in plastic food wrap. Refrigerate 2 hours or until firm.
Heat oven to 375°F.
Roll out dough on lightly floured surface, one-half at a time (keeping remaining dough refrigerated), to 1/8-inch thickness. Cut with 1 3/4-inch cookie cutter. Cut a 3/4-inch shape from center of half of cookies. Place 1 inch apart onto ungreased cookie sheets.
Sprinkle cookies with cut-out center with sugar. Bake 6-8 minutes or until edges begin to brown. Transfer to cooling rack. Cool completely.
Place whipping cream in 1-quart saucepan. Cook over low heat until bubbles form around outside edge. Remove from heat; stir in chocolate and 2 tablespoons butter until smooth. Pour into small bowl; place small bowl into larger bowl of ice water. Stir occasionally 15 minutes or until slightly thickened. Remove bowl from ice water.
filling onto bottom side of cookies without cut-outs. Top with cookie with cut-out center, sugar-side up. Let stand until filling is set.
- Bake the 3/4-inch center cut-outs at 375°F, 5-6 minutes or until edges begin to brown. Serve as “mini-bite” cookies.
- Mascarpone cheese originated in Italy’s Lombardy region. Its buttery-rich flavor lends itself well to blending with other flavors. The double-cream to triple-cream cheese comes from cow’s milk. Look for it in refrigerated specialty cheese sections of supermarkets or gourmet food markets.