Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Raspberry Sandwich Cookies

Now that Fall is here, let's fill our homes with the enticing aroma of spice.  My Raspberry Sandwich Cookies have a good dose of cinnamon & ginger, with just a touch of freshly grated nutmeg & clove.  Their flavor is very reminiscent of Austrian linzer cookies, but the inherent difference lies in the lack of ground hazelnuts.  The cookie dough itself is very easy to make and can be doubled if you wish to make a larger batch; you may just want to share some of these with neighbors or friends.  I often vary the flavor of the cookies by using different jams.  Among my favorites include: strawberry, blackberry, boysenberry, cherry & apricot.  Let's start baking because I want to have a few of them with my tea just about now.



Just-filled Raspberry Jam Cookies on a cake stand.

 
The Ingredients
  • 2 cups + 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • pinch of cloves
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 4 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons pure honey (local is best)
  • 1 large egg

Sift your 7 dry ingredients into a medium sized bowl.  Cream the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on medium speed (a handheld mixer can be used) until light, about 1-2 minutes.  Add the brown sugar & honey and cream until combined, another minute more.  Scrape your bowl at least once or twice.  Add the egg and let it emulsify completely, about one minute.  Scrape down your bowl.  On low speed, add your dry ingredients and combine thoroughly. 

This is what your finished dough should look like.  No speck of flour.  It's very fragrant & spicy at this point.

 
Flatten the dough into a squared disk and cover well with plastic wrap.  Chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.


~ Preheat the oven to 350° F ~

 
Lightly flour your counter or dough board.  Notice that I use a light hand and don't sprinkle too much flour on my surface.  There should be just enough flour to prevent the cookie dough from sticking. 

 
Remove the dough from the refrigerator & plastic wrap.  Place it on the floured surface & use the same piece of plastic wrap to roll out the dough.  I place it directly on the surface of the disk.  Roll out the dough to 1/8" in thickness.  Make sure the dough can still be moved from the counter as your rolling.  If you encounter any stickiness, use a metal spatula to release the dough & add a bit more flour underneath. 


 
Using a 2" round cookie cutter, begin cutting out rounds from the perimeter of the dough, as close together as possible.  Maximize your dough & waste not.  In between cuts, dip the cookie cutter in a small bowl of flour & tap it to remove excess flour.  Doing this will prevent the cutter from sticking to the cookie dough.  Cut out as many rounds as possible.  You can reroll the scraps once more.


Place the rounds onto parchment lined (or silpat) baking sheets, spacing 1" apart. 

Bake in the preheated 350°F oven for 10-12 minutes, or until lightly colored.  Don't let them brown. 

Let the cookies cool on racks completely before proceeding.


Sandwich the cookies with your favorite raspberry jam.  The wafers themselves without any filling will keep in an airtight container for 3-4 days.  Sandwiched with jam, they're best eaten that same day. 


Yield: approximately 1 1/2 dozen sandwich cookies.


My favorite afternoon treat.  A homemade cookie or two or three(!), and a cup of tea. 



Aren't you tempted to make a batch of these jam cookies?  You should be.  My Raspberry Sandwich Cookies are not only delicious, they're also very tender and very fragrant.  Bookmark this recipe because you just may find yourself making a batch or two for the holidays.  I can see a platter of them on a Christmas table or as part of a cookie exchange.  Since they're easy to make, I think you'll be hooked once you try them.  Have fun baking! 

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