Monday, 3 December 2018

christmas sandwich cookies



I love baking, I love Christmas, I really love Christmas baking. There's something special about a homemade gift, the thought behind it, time spent, using your hands. A box of cookies, a bottle of vanilla extract, a Christmas decoration; cue Frank and Bing, I'm starting early.

These festive cookies are based on the European Linzer Cookie, a mini version of the Linzer Torte, popular at Christmas. The traditional cookies are lightly spiced with cinnamon, sometimes lemon zest, and sandwiched with blackcurrant jam; I've left out the citrus and spice, instead opting for a buttery, vanilla flavour paired with sweet strawberry jam. They're one of my favourites, easy to make, delicious and really pretty; perfect as a gift, and a great "bring a plate" for the party season. 




christmas sandwich cookies

100g ground almonds
300g plain flour
1/2 tsp salt
225g butter
150g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large egg yolks
Barker's New Zealand strawberry jam
icing sugar for dusting

makes approximately 15 sandwich cookies
preparation time 30 minutes, not including chilling and baking

• in the bowl of a stand mixer, or using a hand held mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, add the vanilla and egg yolks, and mix to combine
• add the ground almonds, and with the mixer on slow, beat to combine
• sift the flour and salt together, then add to the dough, mix slowly until just combined
• divide the dough in half, roll each half between two sheets of baking paper to 5mm thick, leaving the dough between the sheets of baking paper, transfer to baking trays and rest in the fridge for at least an hour
• preheat your oven to 175ºC fan, 195ºC conventional
• use a 6cm cookie cutter to cut rounds from the sheets of dough, transfer to lined baking trays, leaving 2cm clearance around each cookie
• collect the off cuts together and re-roll, popping it back into the fridge for 10 minutes or so if it becomes too soft to handle
• use a smaller, approximately 2.5cm cutter to cut a circle from the centre of half the cookies, save these little rounds, bake them separately to make mini sandwiches cookies
• bake the cookies for 12 minutes, until lightly golden around the edges, then transfer to racks to cool
• when the cookies are completely cool, turn the solid round cookies upside down and top with a teaspoon of jam; dust the cookie rings with icing sugar then gently press onto the bases
• using a couple of teaspoons, very carefully top the centres of the cookies with a little extra jam
• cookies will keep in an airtight container for several days, you can make the cookies in advance, but fill them just before serving as they will soften quickly once filled

vanilla extract

300ml mini bottle of vodka
5 vanilla beans

• split the vanilla beans in half length ways, drop into the bottle of vodka, tightly replace the lid
• store in a cool place, away from direct sunlight for 8 weeks
• remove the vanilla beans and your vanilla extract is good to go!
• it would be more economical to buy a large bottle of vodka and decant into several smaller bottles, but I just loved the shape of this one!






1 comment:

Natalie said...

These cookies look absolutely amazing! Delicious and perfect for Christmas ♥