Squares, stars, circles, hearts and diamonds, whatever the shape, these rich almond, crumbly cookies are a treat with coffee, tea or hot cocoa. My children love to help by sprinkling the tops with powdered sugar and then placing them on the jam-filled bottoms, pressing just hard enough to squish the jam up through the hole. Try to make these cookies with my homemade cranberry jam, perfect for any holiday!
Ghosts have the hearts too-) Have a fun and sweet weekend!
Yield: about 24 sandwich cookies
- 1 cup ground almonds
- 2 cups pastry whole wheat flour
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 tsp. lemon zest (about 1 medium lemon)
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 7 oz. (14 Tbsp.) chilled unsalted butter
- 1 large egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 Tbsp. cold water
- 1/2 cup cranberry jam (very simple recipe, and so delicious)
- confectioners’ sugar for dusting
In a food processor add the almonds, flour, sugar, lemon zest, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Pulse to combine. Cut the butter into 1/2 inch cubes and add to the flour mixture; pulse until the mixture looks like coarse meal. Don’t over process. Transfer to a large bowl.
Whisk the egg, 1 tsp vanilla extract and water; sprinkle over the flour mixture and toss gently to combine. The dough should hold together when pinched. (If it seems dry, sprinkle on a bit more water.) Turn the dough out onto a work surface, divide into 4 equal portions and wrap each in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until chilled, about 2 hours.
Preheat an oven to 350°F. Lightly grease 2 baking sheets or line with parchment paper.
Generously flour a work surface. Remove 1 portion of the dough at a time from the refrigerator, place between 2 sheets of waxed paper and roll out 1⁄4 inch thick. Using your favorite cookie cutter, cut out the cookies. Using a smaller cutter, cut a hole in the center of half of the cookies. Repeat with the remaining portions of dough, then re-roll the dough scraps as needed to make 24 cutouts total, cutting holes in half of them. If the dough becomes sticky, wrap it in plastic wrap and freeze for 10 minutes before rolling out.
Using a thin spatula, carefully transfer the cookies to the prepared baking sheets. Arrange the cookies on the cookie sheets about 3/4 inch apart. Good idea to bake all of one type at a time as they bake more evenly if you bake either all windows or solid at one time. Bake until the edges are lightly browned, about 13-15 minutes. Transfer the baking sheets to wire racks. Loosen the cookies with the spatula, but leave the cookies on the sheets until thoroughly cooled.
To assemble the cookies: spread the solid cookies with a thin layer (about 1 teaspoon) of homemade cranberry jam to within about 1⁄4 inch of the edges. Dust the cutout cookies generously with confectioners’ sugar. Top the solid cookies with the cutout cookies.