Cream the butter by hand or in a mixer. Add the almond paste and beat for 2-3 minutes until thoroughly combined. Add egg and almond extract and beat well. Sift the dry ingredients and add to the butter mixture (if you are using an electric mixer, add slowly on low speed). Once the flour is all in, beat the mixture for a minute or two until dough is formed. Knead the dough two or three turns, then wrap in cling film and chill thoroughly for an hour or two (it’s a sticky dough and chilling until firm will make it easier to roll out and cut). If you are using it, prepare the ganache while the dough chills.
The amount listed makes enough ganache to fill about half to two-thirds of the sandwiches, depending upon how generous you are. You could also double the recipe to fill them all. I like these with jam too, so I made the lesser amount.
2 ounces dark chocolate (semisweet, bittersweet or a combination)
3 TBSP plus 1 tsp heavy cream
1 tsp instant espresso powder
A pinch of salt
½ tsp sugar
Heat the cream and espresso powder together in the microwave for 30-40 seconds to dissolve the coffee. Mix well and add in the rest of the ingredients. Heat again for 15-30 seconds and them mix thoroughly until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. Set aside and let cool and thicken at room temperature.
To make the cookies:
Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Take the dough out of the fridge and roll out to about 1/8th inch thickness on a well-floured board. Cut out 2” circles re-rolling the scraps. Place cookies on parchment lined sheet (they can be close together since they don’t spread) and bake for 10-12 minutes or until the bottoms are just starting to get color.
Cool the cookies on a rack for 5 minutes. Put about a teaspoon of the ganache or jam in the center of a cookie (on underside, or side that was touching the cookie sheet), cover with a second cookie and gently press just until the ganache or jam spreads to the edge. Repeat with the rest of the cookies. Sprinkle the jam-filled cookies with powdered sugar, and the ganache-filled ones with a little cocoa powder mixed with a little powered sugar. Chill until the filling firms up. Cookies can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer. Bring to room temperature before serving. Calories: about 90 per sandwich cookie.