Blackberry Jam Sandwiches with Lemon Icing

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

  • Makes about

    18

    sandwich cookies

Appears in

The success of these cookies mostly depends on the quality of the preserves you use. If the blackberry preserves you buy contain seeds, take the time to strain them out after you have heated the preserves. Blueberry preserves are also an excellent alternative choice for these cookies.

Ingredients

Cookie Dough

  • 8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon lemon extract
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour (spoon flour into a dry-measure cup and level off)
  • 1 (12-ounce/350-gram) jar seedless blackberry preserves for finishing

Lemon Icing

  • 2 cups confectionerssugar, sifted after measuring
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 cookie sheets or jelly-roll pans lined with parchment or foil

Method

  1. For the dough, combine the butter, sugar, and vanilla and lemon extracts in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat with the paddle on medium speed until soft and light, about 3 minutes. Beat in the, yolks, one at a time, beating smooth after each. Decrease the speed to low and beat in the flour just until blended.
  2. Remove the bowl from the mixer and use a large rubber spatula to give the dough a final mixing. Scrape the dough out onto a piece of plastic wrap and cover with more wrap. Press the dough with the palm of your hand to make it about ½ inch (5 mm) thick. Slide the dough onto a cookie sheet and refrigerate it until firm, 1 to 2 hours, or up to 3 days.
  3. When you are ready to bake the cookies, set 7. racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat to 350°F (180°C).
  4. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and divide it into 3 pieces. Place 1 piece of dough on a floured work surface and return the other pieces to the refrigerator. Lightly flour the dough and gently press it with the rolling pin to soften slightly before rolling.
  5. Roll the dough to a 9-inch (22½-cm) square. Use a 3-inch (7-cm) fluted round cutter to cut the dough into disks, lifting them with a small spatula and arranging them about 2 inches (5 cm) apart all around on the prepared pans. Place the leftover scraps of dough in a small bowl and refrigerate. Repeat with the remaining dough, then re-roll the chilled scraps to make more cookies.
  6. Bake the cookies until firm and no longer shiny looking, 15 to 20 minutes. After the first 7 to 8 minutes, place the pan from the lower rack on the upper one and vice versa, turning the pans back to front at the same time. If you know that your oven gives strong bottom heat, stack the pan on the lower rack on top of a second one for insulation. Slide the papers off the pans to cool.
  7. While the cookies are baking, heat the preserves in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. Let the preserves simmer for about 5 minutes to reduce and thicken slightly.
  8. To fill the cookies, turn half the bases over so that the flattest sides are facing upward. Spoon about 1 teaspoon of the reduced preserves on a cookie base and spread it to within inch (3 mm) of the edge. Top with a second cookie, gently pressing them together. Repeat with all the cookies.
  9. For the icing, combine the confectioners’ sugar, lemon juice, and water in a medium saucepan and stir until smooth. Cook over low heat until it is just lukewarm, about 110°F (45°C). Use a spoon to streak the cookies with the icing.

Storage

Keep the cookies in a cool place, and between sheets of wax paper in a tin or plastic container with a tight-fitting lid.

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