Thursday, August 12th, 2010

Nick Malgieri Cookies

All Images © Katie Quinn Davies

Nick Malgieri is a chef I hadn’t heard of until I purchased a copy of his Modern Baker a year or so ago. I’ve flicked through the pages of this mouth-watering baking book many a time and whilst musing over the amazing cake and bread recipes, one item which has kept me intrigued in particular are his; ‘Viennese Punch Cookies’ mainly I would imagine as they’re very similar in style to the sort of cookies or biscuits I used to make as a kid.

My mum was an amazing baker and pastry cook and I would often come home from junior school and spend my afternoons mixing up all sorts of sweet concoctions from her ‘Woman’s Weekly’ cookbooks and such. I also had a – now rather hilarious/mortifying habit when looking back – of pretending I was presenting a cooking show on TV whilst I made said cookies and cakes, complete with talking to the kitchen window – aka the TV camera… *cringe*… I told my husband this unknown-to-anyone-other-than-me-fact a week ago and he found it rather (OK totally OTT) amusing…

The great thing I found about the filling for these cookies is it would make a fantastic base for a cheesecake, it was a real challenge not to munch the entire lot from the bowl as I was mixing it up. It’s like a finer version of chocolate biscuit cake, very, very yummy. I kept a bit aside and now have it chilling in a small cake tin in the fridge, I’m planning to try out a baked rum and chocolate cheesecake with it… Watch this space…

For the Viennese Punch Cookies you will need:

Adapted from The Modern Baker by Nick Malgieri (DK Publishing, 2008). Makes about 24 sandwich cookies.

For the dough:

16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 cup confectioners’ sugar

1 cup (about 4 ounces) slivered almonds, finely ground in the food processor

2 1/2 cups flour (spoon flour into a dry-measure cup and level off), plus more for the work surface


For the filling:

Baked cookie dough scraps (see directions)

1/3 cup apricot preserves, strained

2 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted and slightly cooled

2 tablespoons dark rum (may substitute strained apricot preserves; see headnote)

2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest

2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest


For the icing:

2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted after measuring

2 tablespoons dark rum (may substitute strained apricot preserves; see headnote)

2 teaspoons water

1 drop liquid red food coloring


1. Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven; preheat to 180˚C (350˚F) degrees. Line 2 large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper or aluminum foil.

2. For the dough: Combine the butter and confectioners’ sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer or hand-held electric mixer. Beat on medium speed for 2 to 3 minutes, until soft and light. Add the ground almonds and mix well.

3. Remove the bowl from the mixer and use a large spatula to incorporate the flour, mixing until the dough is smooth. Lightly flour a work surface and turn the dough out onto it; divide into 3 equal portions.

4. Lightly flour the dough, then gently roll it to about 3/8-inch thick. Use a plain round cookie cutter to cut out 2- to 2 1/2-inch cookies and place them, spaced 1 inch apart, on the prepared pans. Reserve the scraps from cutting the cookies in a bowl.

5. Roll and cut the remaining 2 pieces of dough, reserving the scraps from the rolling and cutting with the others. There should be 48 cookie rounds.

6. Bake the cookies for 7 to 8 minutes, until they are firm and dull-looking, then rotate the baking sheets top to bottom and front to back. (If you know that your oven gives strong bottom heat, use a third baking sheet to insulate the one on the lower rack.) Slide the parchment papers off the baking sheets to cool the cookies.

7. Arrange the dough scraps in a single layer on a parchment- or foil-lined baking sheet. While the cookie rounds are cooling, bake on the middle rack for 15 to 20 minutes, until firm, then cool the scraps on a wire rack.

8. For the filling: Break up the cooled scraps and place them in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse to grind coarsely. Add the preserves, melted chocolate, rum, and orange and lemon zests; pulse until the filling holds a soft shape.

9. To fill the cookies, turn 24 of the cookies over so that the flattest (bottom) sides are facing up. Spread a little less than 1 tablespoon of the filling on each cookie to within 1/8 inch of the edge. Top with the remaining cookies, placing them bottom side down on the filling and gently pressing the two cookies together.

10. For the icing: Combine the confectioners’ sugar, rum, water and food coloring in a medium saucepan; stir until smooth. Place over low heat and cook for several minutes, until it is just lukewarm (about 110 degrees measured on an instant-read thermometer). Use a small offset spatula to spread a thin coat of the icing on top of each cookie. Let set completely before storing or serving.

MAKE AHEAD: Store in a cool place in an airtight container, with the cookies between layers of wax paper, for up to 5 days. Freeze the un-iced, unfilled cookies for up to 2 months.

17 Responses to “Nick Malgieri Cookies”

  1. August 12, 2010 at 8:58 am

    Don’t worry. I have it on good anecdotal evidence that around 1/4 of the population does the pretending-to-be-on-a-cooking-show thing.

    These look gooood.

  2. August 12, 2010 at 8:58 am

    Oh this look lovely. Must try!

    Thanks Katie :)

  3. August 12, 2010 at 9:07 am

    Ha! Teresa, yep I had a feeling I was not alone in this ‘hobby’ :) I don’t think I’ll ever forget the time I was around 6 years of age and I was caught in full bravado chatting the the ‘TV camera’ one Saturday morning at around 7am by my sister and mum who had been watching me for the previous 10 minutes at the kitchen door… Oh Gawd the mortification… *_*

    Giada di Laurentiis eat your heart out! *LOL*.

  4. August 12, 2010 at 9:55 am

    these cookies look delicious! I love Ur yummy photography. x

  5. August 12, 2010 at 10:22 am

    Stunning photos Katie, they really inspire me. On another note I was wondering where you got your round wire cooling rack from? I have been after some vintage looking ones for some time.

  6. August 12, 2010 at 12:32 pm

    Your photography is incredible. I get so distracted by the photos. Beautiful, Katie!

  7. August 12, 2010 at 2:49 pm

    Lucky me and a friend took an instuctional baking class with Nick M. at Tante Marie Cooking School in San Francisco. He is funny to listen to and expert to watch and tho he didn’t make the cookies above, I learned alot about technique by just watching.
    Do you ever get weary of hearing what amazing pictures you take?
    Your cookies are masterpieces!

  8. August 12, 2010 at 2:53 pm

    LOL.. don’t worry, you aren’t alone. at that age, I think most of us were well established in our pretend world.. I would wear my mom’s saris and pretend to be teacher replete with scoring sheets with red ink!!! :OO

  9. August 13, 2010 at 1:53 am

    those little pink cookies look DIVINE!
    I do believe most little girls pretend to be tv stars while helping mum in the kitchen. I’m also guilty. I believe I took in one step further and used to advertise cleaning products as well. full costume and all. have embarrassing photos as proof too. ah, the innocence of childhood.

  10. August 13, 2010 at 1:58 am

    Thanks for all the great comments everyone :)

    Mandy *LOL* – cleaning products?! ;) Fantastic!! *L*

  11. August 13, 2010 at 1:08 pm

    Maraka – so sorry I missed your comment re.: the cake rack, I bought that from a shop in Melbourne about 6 months ago called: Izzy and Popo.

  12. August 16, 2010 at 2:09 am

    I totally need to make these!

  13. September 9, 2010 at 2:42 am

    your blog is amazing!!!! i want to make these. I have added you to my blog on the side. I love finding other sydney bloggers!

    Keep up the inspiring work!

  14. December 21, 2010 at 4:29 pm

    The only way I can get this dought ‘in the mood to roll’ is to put an egg :-(

  15. December 29, 2010 at 9:32 pm

    Hi Katie,

    Your blog is beautiful…I spend hour looking though every post… Loving it!

  16. January 4, 2011 at 4:21 am

    Wow. Your food blog is gorgeous! i LOVE how you type out your recipe and pair it with a photo (beautiful as well) of the food. I’m not worthy to call my blog anything food. Thank you for sharing!

  17. Anonymous
    August 4, 2011 at 9:20 pm

    Here what i found -> vision correction

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