I was involved in throwing a baby shower at work and was eager to make some cookies. I didn't want to make the ordinary chocolate chip, sugar, or even just plain old cupcakes, so I decided to look through a cookbook for something cute and new.
I decided on Martha Stewart's Pecan Linzer cookies. However, I realized I didn't want to use nuts, so I used a simple shortbread recipe instead. Her recipe then became a mere template for my cookie design.
Here's how I made the shortbread. It's pretty simple:
2 cups flour
2 room temperature sticks of butter (I used salted because it was what I had. The recipe called for unsalted and then advised to add salt as well..so I figured it wouldn't matter)
1/2 cup confectioners sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
To make the dough:
With an electric mixer or by hand, beat the butter until it becomes a creamy texture. Then add the sugar and vanilla and beat until well blended. Next, add the flour gradually until it becomes a dough like mixture.
Form the dough into a ball and either place it in a ziploc bag or cover it with cling wrap. Then place it in the fridge for at least an hour. My house was rather hot and muggy, so I ended up putting it in longer.
To form the cookies:
Lightly flour a surface. Then roll out the dough until it's about 1/4 inch thick. Using a cookie cutter shape of your choice (I used hearts), cut out shapes and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Take either a smaller cookie cutter or a bottle cap (I didn't have a smaller cutter so the cap of the vanilla extract worked just fine) and press it in the center of half of the cookies to create a hole.
Bake the cookies in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes or until golden brown.
To assemble the cookies:
You will need about a 1/2 cup of jam (I used strawberry) for the filling.
Separate the cookies with the holes in them and sprinkle with powdered sugar. Then spread the jam on the cookies without the holes. Gently place the cookies with the holes in them on top of the cookies spread with jam to make sandwiches. For an accent, you can place a tiny heart shaped sprinkle in the center of the jam.
The shortbread is so light and buttery it just about melts in your mouth. Enjoy these cookies with a nice cup of tea or all on their delicious lonesome!