I have a real weakness for these Raspberry Butter Cookies.
I love their rustic look, with their golden brown crinkly tops and the
ruby red raspberry jam. And I love their sweet and buttery, vanilla
scented flavor and their light and crispy texture. As
with all sandwich cookies, at first the flavor and texture of the cookie
is separate from that of the filling. But after a day or two the raspberry jam permeates and softens the cookies
so the flavors of the two
combine. An added bonus is that these cookies have excellent keeping
qualities, two to three weeks when stored in the refrigerator.
This butter cookie batter can be
made very quickly in your
food processor, although you can also make it by hand. This is a cut out
cookie so the batter does need to be chilled before you cut out the
cookies. To speed up the process of chilling and cutting, as soon as the
batter is made, I roll it between two sheets of parchment or wax paper.
Then just transfer it (along with the parchment paper) onto a baking sheet
and place in the refrigerator until the dough is firm. This will take
anywhere from 45 to 60 minutes (can be made a day ahead). If you want to
speed up the process even more, you can put the sheet of dough into the
freezer instead (this will only take about 15-20 minutes).
A few notes on
ingredients. The cookie batter contains a small amount of white
rice flour. This is a gluten free flour that is made from finely ground
white rice. Only a small amount is needed to give the cookies a light, yet
texture, that seems to almost melt in your mouth. You can find this
flour in some grocery stores, specialty food
stores or on line. If you can't find it, you can use an equal
amount of cornstarch (corn flour) or even potato flour or potato starch. For the vanilla flavor you can use
either the seeds from one vanilla bean or 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla
extract or vanilla bean paste. If using a vanilla bean,
look for beans that are shiny and black, tender, plump and moist. Never
buy hard, dry and shriveled beans because they are past their prime. To
use; cut the bean in half lengthwise and scrape out the seeds and pulp.
Don't throw away the pod once the seeds are removed. Let it dry and then
place the pod into your bag of granulated white sugar, and after a few
days you have vanilla scented sugar.
I like to fill these sandwich cookies with raspberry jam and you can use
either homemade or store bought. But
don't feel you have to use raspberry jam, as other flavors of jam can be
Cookies: Place the flours, sugar, baking powder, salt, and the seeds from
the vanilla bean in
the bowl of your food processor. Process until combined. Add the cold pieces of
butter and process until the batter starts to clump together. If needed, add
about 1 tablespoon of the beaten egg.
Divide the dough
in half and then roll each half
between two sheets of parchment or wax paper until it is about 1/4 inch (.5 cm)
thick. As you roll, periodically check the top and bottom sheets of parchment
and smooth out any wrinkles. Place dough on a baking sheet (along with the
parchment paper) and place in the refrigerator until cold and very firm (about
45-60 minutes). (For faster chilling, place in the freezer for about 15-20
remove from refrigerator and peel off the top piece of parchment paper. Using
about a 3 inch (7 cm) cookie cutter, cut out the cookies. Use a smaller
cookie cutter to cut out the centers of half of the cookies. Lightly
brush the tops of the whole cookies with the beaten egg and then gently press
the cookies with the cut outs on top. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet,
spacing the cookies about 2 inches (5 cm) apart. Fill the cut out of each cookie
with raspberry jam. You can just use a small spoon or place the jam in a piping
bag. Put the baking sheet
with the cut out cookies in the refrigerator while you preheat the oven to 400
degrees F (200 degrees C), with the oven rack in the center position.
up any scraps of leftover dough and re-roll. (You may need to refrigerate the
dough again before cutting out the cookies.) Before baking the cookies, lightly
brush the cut out cookies with the beaten egg. Bake the cookies for about 12
minutes or until they are golden brown.
Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. The cookies can be covered
and stored in the refrigerator about 2 to 3 weeks. They can also be frozen.
18 - 3 inch (7 cm) heart shaped cookies.
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