Raspberry Cookie Sandwiches

A classic Christmas cookie filled with tangy fruit preserves.

By The Editors

Better Homes & Gardens Very Merry Cookies

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From Better Homes & Gardens Very Merry Cookies (Wiley), this variation on traditional Linzer Tarts can be made ahead and defrosted just in time for your holiday guests. Just keep the preserves in reserve, and enlist the kids’ help in assembly.

Ingredients:
1⁄3 cup butter, softened
1⁄3 cup shortening
3⁄4 cup granulated sugar
1 1⁄2 teaspoons baking powder
1⁄4 teaspoon salt
1⁄4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1⁄8 teaspoon ground cloves
1 egg
1 tablespoon milk
1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla
1⁄2 teaspoon finely shredded lemon peel
2 cups all-purpose flour
Powdered sugar
1⁄3 to 1⁄2 cup raspberry, apricot, or strawberry preserves or jam or orange marmalade

Directions:
1. In a large mixing bowl beat butter and shortening with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add granulated sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and cloves. Beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in the egg, milk, vanilla, and lemon peel until combined. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Using a wooden spoon, stir in any remaining flour. Divide dough in half. Cover and chill dough about 1 hour or until easy to handle.

2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. On a lightly floured surface roll each dough half to 1⁄8- to 1⁄4-inch thickness. Using a 2 1⁄2-inch cookie cutter, cut out dough into desired shape. Place cutouts 1 inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Using a 3⁄4-inch cookie cutter, cut desired shape from centers of half of the cookies. Bake for 7 to 10 minutes or until edges are light brown. Transfer cookies to a wire rack and let cool.

3. Sift powdered sugar onto the cookies with the centers cut out. To assemble cookies, spread a scant teaspoon of preserves over the bottom of one of the whole cookies; press the bottom of a cutout sugar cookie against the preserves. Repeat with the remaining cookies and preserves. Serve within 2 hours.

To Make Ahead and Store:
Layer the unfilled cookies between sheets of waxed paper in an airtight container; cover. Store at room temperature for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw cookies, if frozen. Assemble cookies as directed.

Makes about 20 cookies

Excerpted from Better Homes and Gardens Very Merry Cookies © 2011. Reprinted with permission of John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

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