Makes 36 sandwich cookies
Prep time: 1 hour
Cook time: 15 minutes
Some of my most memorable Christmas memories centered around the long trek to Aunt Susie’s house in Sherbrook, Quebec, whereby my parents would be too exhausted from the snowy 8-hour drive to care about how many cookies I consumed before and/or after dinner. Ironically, Aunt Susie is one tough cookie herself, but her signature treat is quite the opposite. When I asked her for the recipe, she sent me a hand-written note in an effort to temper expectations: “Dear Shahir, I hope you will not be too disappointed with production, as what you have in mind are a lot of childhood memories. Anyway, enjoy. Love, Susie.” Well, the recipe was extremely simple, but I was far from disappointed, and you won’t be either.
¾ lb butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
6 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
¼ cup powdered sugar, for dusting
1 ½ cups apricot jam, for filling
Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the softened butter in the bowl of a stand mixer and add the sugar. Cream the butter and sugar together for several minutes until light and fluffy. With the mixer on, add one egg at a time followed by the vanilla extract.
In a separate bowl, mix the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt. Turn the mixer off, then add the dry mix into the creamed butter and egg. Mix again on low just to combine and try to avoid overmixing. Divide dough into 4 even pieces, wrap tightly with plastic and refrigerate for a few minutes to cool down.
Once the dough has cooled, dust your work surface with a touch of flour. Roll out the first piece of dough until it’s very thin, about 1/16-inch. This is a sandwich cookie, so we want both layers to be thin. Using a cookie cutter, cut out 12 circles and carefully place them on the baking sheet, at least 1 inch apart (you may need two baking sheets, or to bake the cookies in batches). Repeat with the other pieces of dough. For half of the circles, take a small star-shaped cookie cutter (or any other shape that you have on hand) and cut out a little star in the middle to make the top halves of the sandwich. Bake the cookies for 12 – 15 minutes, rotating at the halfway point and being mindful to not achieve much color. Remove from the oven and cool completely. Dollop about 1 Tbsp of apricot jam on the bottom half of the sandwich circle (the cookies that don’t have a cut-out star). Then dust some powdered sugar on the top halves (the circles that do have a star cut-out), and place on top of the jam-filled bottoms.