Wednesday, 8 December 2010
These have to be my favourite Christmas Cookies of all time! Mind you, if there's jam involved in any way at all, be it cake, cookie, pie or sandwich . . . I'm one very happy camper!!
I have a thing about jam. I just love, Love, LOVE it!!
I got this recipe from a very old friend of mine quite a number of years ago. Mildy spiced, buttery and filled with ground hazelnuts, these are fabulously delicious!
You could dust them with icing sugar of course, which looks really nice also, but I like to use caster sugar . . . because I enjoy the extra texture . . . and the glittery finish it gives.
Buttery nutty and lightly spiced dough . . . sweet/tart raspberry jam. What's not to like? Well, you may have to bake them twice, coz . . . umm . . . if you are like me they kinda disappear before you know it, but what's a gal to do???
I can't help myself . . . Cookie + Jam = my only weakness. (Shhhhh . . . )
Makes about 2 dozen
The quintessential Christmas Cookie. Tender sweet cookies filled with tart raspberry jam. Delicious!!
3 ounces (2/3 cup) hazelnuts
3.75 ounces (1/2 cup packed) light brown sugar
10 .75 ounces (2 1/2 cups) sifted plain flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
8 ounces (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1 large free range egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
12 ounces raspberry jam, seived
caster sugar for dusting
Preheat the oven to 180*C/ 350*F/ gas mark 4. Place the hazelnuts into a shallow baking pan and bake for about 6 minutes until the skins are beginning to loosen and the nuts are fragrant. Turn off the oven. Dump the hot nuts into a tea towel and rub with the towel to loosen as much of the skins as possible. Discard any skins. Place half the brown sugar and the nuts into a food processor. Process until the nuts are finely ground.
Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.
Cream together the butter and remaining brown sugar until pale and fluffy. Add the nut mixture and beat until well combined. Beat in the egg and the vanilla. Work iin the flour mixture, just until combined. Divide the dough in half, shaping each half into a round flat disc. Wrap in cling film and chill until firm, about 2 hours.
Heat the oven again to 180*C/350*F/ gas mark4. Roll out 1 disc of the dough to 1/8 inch thickness between two sheets of cling film. Cut out as many cookies as you can with a 2 1/4 inch fluted round cookie cutter. Repeat until all the dough has been cut out/ Using a smaller shaped cutter, cut shapes out of the centre of half of the rounds. Place one inch apart on ungreased baking sheets. Dust the top halves with some caster sugar . (these are the ones with the centre cut out.) Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until the edges are lightly browned. Remove to wire racks to cool completely before proceeding. Repeat until all the dough has been used up, only rerolling the scraps once. Discard any scraps after that.
Spread about 1 teaspoon of jam on the solid halves of the baked cookies. Top with the flat side of a windowed cookie. Repeat until all cookies are put together. Store between sheets of parchment paper in a tightly covered tin.