I love making these cookies because you can make them for any occasion by changing the shape in the middle. Plus, they look really pretty with the dusting of sugar on top. I tend to go light on the sugar dusting because I like the speckled look. I made similar cookies a few years ago (Almond Jam Cookies), but I’ve been playing with how to make them with less white flour and eggless so everyone in my family can eat them.
1 1/4 cups unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
2 cups almond meal
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp cinnamon powder
1/2 tsp salt
2.5 cups all purpose flour
1 cup seedless raspberry jam
Optional: confectioner’s sugar (to sprinkle on top)
1. Beat the butter and sugar at med speed until well mixed (~5 min).
2. Add the almond meal, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and salt. Beat on low for another minute until its mixed in.
3. Add the flour, 1/2 cup at a time, beating on low until a dough forms (it will be soft).
4. Pat the dough into a thick disc and wrap in cling wrap. Refrigerate for 30 mins.
5. On a floured surface, roll the dough until it is ~1/8-inch thick. Using a cookie cutter, cut out as many as shapes as possible. Using a smaller cookie cutter, cut the center out of half of the shapes.
6. Gently, place the solid shapes and the shapes with the centers removed on an Silpat/parchment-lined cookie sheet. Chill in fridge for 30 mins.
7. Take them from the fridge and put them directly in the oven. Bake 15-18 min at 325 F (edges will turn a very light golden color).
8. Take the scraps from steps 6 and 7, and roll out again. Repeat steps 6-8 as many times as needed to use up the dough. Side note: instead of mixing the centers that you cut in Step 6 back into the dough, you can bake these and just make smaller versions of the cookie (they just won’t have a center with the jam showing through).
9. When the cookies have cooled completely, spread a thin layer of jam on the solid cookie. Place the shape with the center removed gently on top (if you don’t want a sugar dusting on top).
Optional (for dusting the top with sugar): Do this before sandwiching the cookies together to make the cookie look neater. Put the shapes with the center removed on a separate plate. Place a spoonful of the confectioner’s sugar in a small mesh tea strainer (or similar device). Gently move the strainer across the top while tapping it to make the sugar fall. When you are satisfied with how much sugar is on top, you can place this cookie on top of the solid shape with jam.