Time: 25 min plus chilling and assembly time. Plan an afternoon of cookie making.
Serves: 3 dozen
This recipe comes from a Christmas edition of Taste Of Home Magazine. It’s basically shortbread with browned butter filling and some delicious preserves of your choice. Luckily, Corinne has left me with a jar of Strawberry-Lavender Caramel, which was the perfect compliment to the rich butter flavor. Maybe if we hint enough she will post it on here. Forget the hinting, “Corinne, we need you to post your Strawberry Lavender Caramel!”
I have made these at Christmas for two years running and they are my most requested treat along with cheesecake and lemon bars… coming soon to a blog near you.
You Will Need:
For The Cookie
A Linzer cookie cutter or your favourite cookie cutter with a small round biscuit cutter to remove the center.
- 1 cup of butter, softened
- 1 1/2 cups of icing sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp real vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 cups of flour
For The Filling
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1 1/2 cups of icing sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 4 Tbsp water
- 1/4 cup of your favourite preserve
Make The Cookie Dough
I make these in my mixed but they can easily be done by hand.
Cream the butter and the sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg and the vanilla until smooth. Add the flour, a little at a time, until incorporated. Divide the dough in half and place each half in plastic wrap. Smooth into a disc shape and place in the fridge for 2 hours. This step is important. You need the gluten to rest to make tender cookies and also you need cold dough to prevent the cookings from loosing their shape during baking.
Preheat the oven to 375F. Prepare two cookie sheets with parchment. That way you can prep one while the others are baking.
Lightly flour the counter and roll out the dough until it is an 1/8th of an inch thick. You want to try to make both halves of the dough the same thickness, otherwise your tops may not be the same size as your bottoms during baking. Thinner dough will cook faster and shrink more.
Cut equal numbers of tops and bottoms from both halves of dough so that you have matched sets. I used a linzer cookie cutter which cuts the tops out for me, but any floured cutter will work. I found this at The Bulk Barn for about $6. A worth while investment. They are now starting to rust a bit but still work fine.
I cut 12 cookies and place 1-2 inches apart on the first cookie sheet and throw them in the oven. If the cookies have warmed up while you were cutting, be sure to place them in the freezer for 10 min before baking or they may loose their shape. Bake the cookies for 8-10 minutes, depending on how thick you rolled them. When they are baking they will puff up slightly. When you see the puff dough start to relax in the oven they are done. The top will be pale while the edges are slightly golden. They are much better when not over-baked.
While the first tray is baking, prep the second tray. Keeping any excess dough in the freezer while you are working. Place them in the oven when ready.
When the first batch is baked, allow to sit for a few minutes and then move to a cooking rack. Throw the tray in the freezer to cool it down while you roll the next batch.
Repeat until all cookies are baked and cooling.
Prepare The Icing
Melt the butter in a small sauce pan over medium heat until browned. This takes about 10 min. Watch it carefully to make sure it doesn’t burn. Black butter is NOT as delicious as browned butter. Remove from heat and gradually add the icing sugar until combined. You are looking for a spreadable consistency so if needed, add some water until you can spread it easily with a knife. It will stiffen as it cools so you need to work quickly.
Spread on the bottoms of all the cookies and top with a dollop of the preserves. Place the tops on and press down gently. You want the preserves to fill the hole in the top of the cookie but not leak out the sides or overflow out of the top. Let them sit out on the cooling rack for about an hour until the icing stiffens and then place in an air-tight container. These freeze really well (I have been known to eat them right out of the freezer… they are delicious). They will also keep well on the counter for a week or so.