In years past I used to always bring these to my friend Katie's ski house when we went to Vermont for Christmas vacation. It became my tradition during high school but with us all almost graduated from college now, we haven't been to Vermont together since Spring of 2006. I recently realized I haven't made these since the last Christmas we spent in Vermont. (That was 2005!)
My friend Cathy and I decided to throw a New Years Eve party at my house (all the way up in Binghamton), so I thought this would be as good a time as any to bring my favorite cookies back to life.
They are pretty simple but they do take a bit of time since it takes a few steps. The cookie itself is just a simple butter cookie recipe from Martha Stewart but you will need a cookie press to make them. I have this one from Williams-Sonoma for a couple years now and it works great.
It's not impossible to make these with a electric hand mixer but it will certainly make your life easier if you have a stand mixer (I made the cookies at my mom's so we used hers but I got one of my very own for Christmas!!).
I used only white flour for this dough because it is a very delicate cookie. One day I will probably try white ww flour or even ww pastry but I'm not sure how it will react. I did however use pure cane sugar instead of white with no trouble at all.
I filled these with apricot and raspberry jams but I also think black raspberry or black or red currant would be great. Just make sure the jam you choose is seedless and smooth with no fruit chunks otherwise the cookies won't fit together nicely. Melted dark chocolate would be another way to go.
Makes about 30 sandwiches.
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted organic butter
1 cup organic pure cane sugar
2 large organic egg yolks
3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
Jam or melted chocolate for sandwich filling.
Good quality, fair trade, organic very dark chocolate for dipping or drizzling over sandwiches
For the cookie:
Heat oven to 350 degrees. using your stand or electric hand mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks, flour, salt, and vanilla. Mix thoroughly.
Select the desired shape disk for your press. I use the one that looks like a flower.
Fill a cookie press with the dough, and turn out cookies unbuttered baking sheet. You can put them pretty close since they don't really spread. This may take a little getting used to but its easy once you get it. Make sure you pack the dough in tightly to push the air pockets out otherwise you won't get full cookies. Each time you fill the press, click the lever about 3 times to compress the dough. The first cookie usually doesn't come out so pretty so if its ugly just scoop it up and throw it back in the bowl of dough.
Bake until the cookies are lightly golden color, 7 to 10 minutes. They don't get very dark you just want to take the edge off that whiteness. If your oven bakes unevenly, rotate sheet halfway through the baking process. Transfer to a wire rack, and let cool.
Once cookies have cooled, spread a small amount of jam on the bottom of one cookie, match up the bottom of another cookie and press together into a sandwich. Repeat until all cookies are used up.
Line up cookies close to each other on parchment paper. Melt chocolate and drizzle on top of cookies.
To read about melting chocolate click here and scroll to the * towards the bottom.
These cookies are best when make a couple days in advance because the jam will set properly. Just make sure to keep them in an airtight container. They also make great gifts :)