One of my favorite family holiday traditions is Cookie Weekend. Yes, it is exactly as the name suggests: a weekend filled with baking, Christmas music, family, and the most incredible homemade cookies! Every year, my family and I pick one weekend in December to bake nearly seventeen different cookie varieties like we’re on the most insane episode of “Holiday Bake Off”. Even though at some point throughout Cookie Weekend we almost always regret not narrowing the recipe list, it is always such a fun occasion filled with holiday cheer. I couldn't possibly manage this task alone. Cookie Weekend combines my love for baking, creativity, and spending quality time with loved ones. While I'd love to share each and every recipe, I decided to pick one favorite to showcase. Almond shortbread cookies filled with delicious raspberry jam. These are a must to share with your loved ones this holiday season!
“Glittery” by Kacey Musgraves was on repeat while I made this recipe. This song helped radiate the joy that Cookie Weekend (and Kacey Musgraves) always brings me. The best part of recreating this recipe was being able to follow my Grandma’s handwritten recipe card that my mom sent me (Hi, Nan!!). It made the baking experience feel that much more special. The almond shortbread cookies filled with raspberry jam are simple in theory yet complex in taste. A shortbread base is spiced up with almond extract and topped with cinnamon, sugar, and finely chopped almonds. While the sharpness from the raspberry jam cuts through the sweetness of the shortbread cookie base.
Now, this recipe is usually called “Almond Raspberry Stars”, but I couldn’t find star cookie cutters anywhere and couldn’t bring myself to order another thing from Amazon… Basically, you will need one large cookie cutter of your choosing to make the two cookies for the sandwich. Then, you will need a mini cookie cutter to cut into the top cookie to reveal the scrumptious raspberry jam filling. For my unique version, I used a large ornament cutter and a smaller snowflake cutter for the center. I also used store bought jam because I’m pretty positive a nice quality raspberry jam from Whole Foods will taste better than anything I could whip up. You could also visit a local farm to pick up a delicious homemade jam and support a small business!
¾ Cup Softened Butter
½ Cup Powdered Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
½ tsp Almond Extract
1 ¾ Cups All Purpose Flour (Plus extra for dusting/rolling out dough)
2 tbsp. Finely Chopped Almonds
1 tbsp Sugar
½ tsp Cinnamon
1 Egg White (lightly whisked)
½ Cup Raspberry Jam (Seeded or seedless, whichever you prefer!)
Preheat the oven to 350℉.
In a mixing bowl, cream butter and powdered sugar together until light and fluffy.
Add almond and vanilla extracts and beat until fully incorporated.
Mix in flour until dough begins to come together.
Shape dough into a ball and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes.
On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough to about ¼” thickness. (Feel free to half the dough to make this step easier and to save space)
Using your cutter of choice, cut into as many even numbered cookies as possible. (I was able to make 40 with my cutter, you may get more depending on your shape!)
Use the smaller cookie cutter to cut the shape into half of your pre-baked cookies. (These will be the tops to your cookies, the other 20 without a center shape will be your bottoms).
Bake the bottom cookies for about 10-12 minutes until the edges and bottoms are very lightly browned.
Combine sugar, cinnamon, and finely chopped almonds.
Using your whisked egg white, brush onto the “top” cookies and sprinkle with the sugar, cinnamon and almond mixture.
Bake the “top” cookies for about 8-10minutes. (Due to the sprinkle on top, check the bottom of the cookies for doneness, they should be lightly browned!)
Cool cookies well.
Spoon about a teaspoon or so (I used a generous teaspoon) of raspberry jam onto the “bottom” cookie and then top off with the “top” cookie.
Allow jam to set before storing and serving!
There are so many wonderful variations you can make of these cookies! Adding different extracts, jam fillings, or toppings can really customize the flavor of your cookies. Some of my cookies were baked without the cinnamon, sugar, and almond sprinkle, because I very much so forgot, but adding a drizzle of icing or powdered sugar to the top of undressed cookies would be delicious as well! Enjoy and be sure to tag @tylerpo.interiors and #ashandburrow on Instagram if you try this recipe yourself!
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Ash & Burrow