These are the cookies that are definitely amongst my favorite childhood memories. They are shaped like little peaches, filled with peach jam and coated in sugar, what kid wouldn't love these!
What you will need:
- 3/4 cup butter or margarine
- 1 cup white sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (alternatively, you can use lemon zest)
- 5 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 cup milk OR 1/2 cup sour creme
~ 1/2 cup of peach jam
- about 20 squares of chocolate from a regular chocolate bar (there will be a picture, and this isn't set in stone)
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon cocoa (optional)
-1 tablespoon water (optional)
Coloring and coating:
- Food coloring OR
- 1/2 of a cooked beet (you will need to obtain this ahead of time)
- 1 carrot
- 1 cup of sugar
Dough prep time: 15 minutes
Baking time: 20 minutes (you prepare filling during this time)
Decorating time: 15-20 minutes
Yields: about 17 full peaches
Step 1: Combine Butter With Sugar
Take the butter for the dough (3/4 of a cup) and mix it with white sugar in a large bowl. Use a fork to blend the two together until smooth.
Note: for this instructable, I did 1/2 of the recipe, as such my ingridients will appear in smaller quantities
Step 2: Add Other Wet Ingredients
Once the sugar is blended with the butter, you can add the eggs.
Tip: crack the egg over a different container or a glass before putting into mixture in case broken shell pieces fall in as well.
You don't need to mix it too thoroughly after adding the eggs. Next, add some vanilla or lemon zest. Lastly, add sour creme or milk. If you use milk, you will need more flour.
Mix the ingredients well, but little lumps are okay at this stage.
Step 3: Mix Dry Ingredients
In a separate bowl, mix together flour and baking powder. You do not need to mix all 5 cups of flour at this time - do 3 or so, it will be easier and less messy. You will just add more flour later.
Put the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients from previous step. Work the dough, first with a fork or a spoon and then with your hands, until it is manageable and not sticky.
Step 4: Shape the Peach Halves
Now that the dough is ready, you can start making your peaches!
Line a baking sheet with baking paper. Now, make the tip of your thumb touch the tip of your index finger. See the circle that is formed (it's like an "ok" sign)? This is generally a good size for half peach.
Roll balls of dough with your hands, then flatten one side onto the baking sheet. The peaches don't grow much in the oven, so you can put them quite closely.
Make sure you make an even number of halves.
Bake at 160C (325F) for about 15-20 minutes, until the bottoms are golden.
Step 5: Prepare "sealant"
Now that the cookies are in the oven, you can prepare final decoration stuff.
First of all, we will make the filling. There are two parts to this, although you can do with one.
This will go between the peach halves and adds lots of taste, thus it is pretty well mandatory. Put the peach jam and some chocolate squares (6-8 for full recipe) into a pan on low heat. Once the chocolate melts, mix everything well and remove from heat. You don't have to put it into the fridge, but you can to make it bond faster.
These will represent the stones you would normally find in a peach. Of course, noone likes to eat actual stones, so we're going to use chocolate :D
Take the leftover chocolate pieces (about 12 should do it), and place them in a pan with some butter. The easiest method for mixing these and melting everything is probably via microwave, but be careful not to burn yourself!
Otherwise, take a large pot and put some water in it. Find a smaller pot and place it in the big pot, so that it is only in contact with the water, not the stove. This will let you melt chocolate without burning it.
Optional: after you melt chocolate, you can also add cocoa powder and a tiny bit of water to make it more rich. Although this isn't necessary.
Keep the chocolate mix warm, so that it can be scooped with a spoon.
Step 6: Preparing Coloring
To color the peaches, you can use artificial food coloring or natural vegetable coloring. The steps below are for vegetable coloring.
Orange color will come from carrots and red will come from beets. Grate carrots on the smaller side of the cheesegrater (they're not particularly juicy). You can grate beets on whatever side works, they release quite a bit of juice and color anyway.
Next, put the shredded vegetables into paper towels and keep the final bundles in bowls until you use them.
Step 7: Hollow Out the Halves
Your peaches are all baked, yay!
Take them out of the oven and let them cool. Once they're not burning your fingers anymore, use a butter knife to make little indents in the centers. Even if you are not using chocolate stones, do this, as it will provide room for the jam and keep halves together better.
Step 8: Form the Peaches
Take two halves that are about the same size. Fill the centers with melted chocolate mix (the chocolate stone mix). Quickly put some jam sealant around the stone. You do not have to put jam on both halves.
Squish the two halves together to form the peach. Some jam is going to come out of the peach, just use your finger to smooth it out.
Step 9: Color and Coat in Sugar!
Once all of your peaches are assembled, you are ready to finish these up.
Take a small plastic box or a bowl and put about 1 cup of sugar in it.
First will come the coloring. Take a peach and using carrot juice color it orange first, then use beet juice to add red highlights.
Make sure the whole peach is wetted.
Put the peach into the sugar-filled container, and use a spoon to throw around sugar and the peach until fully coated. Carefully pick it out (use the spoon) and put it in a box or on a plate to dry off.
Repeat with all peaches and you're done!