Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Raspberry Heart Sandwich Cookies for My Valentines

Raspberry Heart Sandwich Cookies
Adapted from Martha Stewart.

Makes approximately 30 sandwich cookies .

If you can't find the freeze dried raspberries I used in this cookie (look at Trader Joe's or natural foods stores), you can leave them out and color the sugar with a drop of red food coloring instead or just use plain sugar.

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup butter, room temperature
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp lemon zest
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup finely ground freeze dried raspberries, sifted to remove seeds
3/4 cup best quality seedless raspberry jam (if you can't find seedless, you can push the jam through a sieve to remove the seeds)

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the flour, butter, cream, vanilla and lemon zest on low speed.  As the butter begins to incorporate, you can increase the speed slightly.  After about a minute, the dough will come together to form a ball.  Stop the mixer and remove the dough.  Halve the ball of dough and slightly flatten each half.  Wrap each half of the dough separately in plastic and refrigerate for 2 hours.

When the dough has set in the refrigerator, preheat your oven to 325 degrees.  Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment or a silicone baking mat.  In a small bowl, mix together the sugar and ground raspberries.

Remove one piece of dough from the fridge, unwrap it and lay it on a lightly floured work surface.  Sprinkle the top with some of the sugar mixture and begin rolling out the dough.  Once you've rolled it a bit in one direction, carefully pick the dough up and give it a quarter turn.  Sprinkle with more sugar and dust your counter with more flour if needed.  Continue rolling, turning and sprinkling with sugar until the dough is 1/8 inch thick.  Cut out hearts with a 2 inch cookie cutter and lay on the cookie sheet.  You can put them close together as they won't spread very much.  Re-roll the scraps one more time if needed, but try to cut the cookies with as little space between them as possible the first time around.  Roll out the second half of the dough in the same manner. 

Place the cookie sheets in the refrigerator for 10 minutes.  This will help keep the cookies from spreading and becoming misshapen.  Remove and bake one cookie sheet at a time for 12 minutes, turning the sheet around after about 8 minutes.  Be careful not to over bake or the points of your heats will get too brown!

Remove the cookies from the sheet right away and let cool completely on a baking rack.  The cookies will keep unfilled for a few days in an airtight container.  Fill them only when ready to serve.

When ready to serve, spread 1/2 tsp raspberry jam between on top of each of half of your cookies.  Place the other half of the cookies on top.  Then share the cookie love.

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