Are you getting ready for Valentine’s Day yet? Well, these cookies would be a great addition to any Valentine’s Day meal or Valentine’s Day party. They are, in fact, one of my all time favorite cookies. Of course, that moniker is basically meaningless since I’ve yet to meet a cookie that I didn’t like. But, honestly, if you like raspberry you’ll love these cookies.
The inspiration for these is the linzer cookie, but I go with a basic butter cookie dough which isn’t the same. My reasoning is that linzer cookie dough is a tiny bit spicy but I happen to really like raspberry and I like the fact that these cookies are mild enough to let the raspberry really shine and take center stage. I also like that the cookie isn’t terribly sweet so the sweetness from the raspberry again gets center stage.
They do, actually, take quite a long time to make because there are multiple steps in addition to the normal cookie process of mixing the dough, letting it chill in the fridge, and then baking. You have to roll them out, cut them out, then cut out part of the one’s you’ve already cut out, and then after they’ve baked you have to melt the jam and then assemble them all (which is three steps in and of itself). It takes a couple of hours and the near boiling jam makes it tough to have the kids help. But, lest I sound discouraging, once you’ve tasted them you will know that all of your efforts are rewarded.
The other bonus here is that the recipe makes so many cookies that you’ll be rolling in them for a while so at least you’ll know they won’t all disappear right away. You’ll also have the smug satisfaction that you’ve made a cookie so complex that most people would simply buy them at a bakery but you did it at home! That tastes good sometimes too, you know.
Oooh, oooh, oooh, another bonus! You also get to make sandwich cookies out of all of those little centers you cut out, and they are most fun of all. They are bite sized little jam cookies that my son would eat by the handful if I let him. All in all, the bonuses here outweigh the 2-3 hours of your life that you’ll spend to make them, so for Valentine’s Day surprise someone with a batch of these. They’re worth it.
Raspberry Jam Cookies
1 batch basic butter cookies from the Christmas Butter Cookie post
2 jars 100% fruit raspberry jam (I like to use Polaner’s All Fruit )
1 cup powdered sugar
Prepare the dough according to the recipe instructions. I do not chill the dough before rolling it out. I roll out the dough and cut the cookies out and place them on a silpat baking sheet on a half sheet pan and then place the pans into the refrigerator for an hour before baking. I find this makes it easier to cut out the centers of the cookies without the rims breaking and cracking.
Roll out the dough in batches of roughly 1/4 of the total dough at a time. Using a medium sized heart shaped cookie cutter cut out approximately 40 hearts (depending on what size you choose) and place them on cookie sheets. Then cut out another 40 hearts and place them on cookie sheets as well. Using a smaller heart shaped cookie cutter cut the centers out of half of the medium sized hearts and place the centers on another cookie sheet.
(Note, I have 4 half sheet pans with silpat sheets so I can do this all at once. If you do not have this many find a plate or a sheet pan of some kind that you can put the cut cookies on, separating layers of cookies with parchment paper so they don’t stick together. When baking make sure your pan has cooled to room temperature before adding more cookies to it for baking.)
Store the half-sheet pans in the fridge for an hour before baking. Bake each tray in a 350 degree oven for 7-9 minutes depending on how thin or thick you’ve rolled the cookies. You do not want them to brown.
Once the cookies are out of the oven and cooled put the jam in a small saucepan and heat it, stirring continuously, until it has melted and is smooth like a liquid. One at a time dab a bit of melted jam on the bottom (the flat side) of one of the whole cookies. Spread it across the whole cookie with a knife. Place on top (flat side to flat side) one of the cookies with the center cut out and press down firmly but gently so they stick together. When the jam cools it will be like glue adhering them to one another.
Using a sifter dust the cookies with powdered sugar so they are coated. Rewarm the jam and very carefully, using a spoon fill in the centers of the cookies with the hot jam. Cool and plate for serving.
*For the center piece cookies: Line them up in pairs (flat side up), and using a spoon, dab each one with a small bit of the remaining hot jam. When you have dabbed a cookie with jam place its pair on top and gently press them together. When the jam cools they too will stick to each other. When you’ve finished allow the jam to cool and serve.