Monday, February 2, 2009

Jam Sandwich Cookies

These cookies take a while, so definitely save them for the weekend. They're light and buttery and not too sweet, and can be changed easily to suit any occasion (hearts for Valentine's Day, for example). You start with a simple butter cookie, but once you've added jam and powdered sugar they certainly don't taste simple.

A few tricks:
1) To get the inner cookie out easily, pinch your cookie cutter a little and lift.
2) Use a spatula to gently transfer these from the parchment to the cookie sheet, they're delicate and will break if you just pick them up with your hands.
3) Wear an apron for these, they're pretty messy.
4) Make sure your tiny cookie cutter leaves plenty of cookie around it, the thinner the edges are the more likely the cookies are to break. Any bigger than the star I used would be a bad idea. Hearts should be placed with the point at least 1/4" from the edge.

Jam Sandwich Cookies
1 cup butter
1 cup white sugar
1 egg
2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 small jar raspberry jam
1/2 cup (or more) confectioners' sugar for dusting

In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the flour and salt, set aside.
In a large bowl, cream together the butter and white sugar with a whisk or hand mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg, then stir in the vanilla. Stir the flour mixture into the sugar mixture.

Divide the dough in half and lay each half on a piece of parchment paper. Roll out each half of the dough between two pieces of parchment paper. The dough should be between 1/8" and 1/4" thick. Lay the parchment-rolled dough slabs on a cookie sheet for stability and put in the fridge for at least one hour.
Cut with round cookie cutters. Cut a shape out of the center of half of the cookies, the solid half will be the bottoms. You can either bake the cutouts as extras or re-roll them and make additional sandwiches out of the dough.
Preheat oven to 400ยบ for at least 20 minutes. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until *very* lightly golden at the edges. Remove from cookie sheets to cool on wire racks.

When the cookies have nearly cooled, melt your jam in a sauce pot over medium-low heat. Put 1 teaspoon of melty jam on each cookie bottom. Dip the top of each cookie top in powdered sugar then press it into place. Let the cookies set for 30 minutes before stacking or serving them, otherwise the jam will set crookedly and ruin all your hard work.

Not that they're that hard. Just time consuming and delicious.

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