These shortbread cookies are filled with jam. The shortbread cookie dough is easy to make and is perfect for rolling and cutting with cookie cutters. The cookies keep their shape in the oven too!
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The secret to really good shortbread cutout cookies, that you can serve plain or sandwiched with a jam filling, is a sturdy cookie that is buttery and not too sweet. This shortbread cookie recipe is it. Whether you want to make shortbread sandwich cookies or you just want plain shortbread cookies, this recipe rolls out beautifully and is very easy to work with.
Technically, traditional shortbread aren't made with vanilla, but this recipe is. Using vanilla extract makes the flavour more complex, less bland. You can also try replacing the vanilla extract in the cookie dough with bourbon, rum, or even cognac.
The cut out shortbread cookies bake without much puffing or distortion of shape. They keep their shape while baking and don't spread in the oven.
Once baked, these shortbread cookies are just firm enough to sandwich with a filling. You can fill them with:
- jam or marmalade (like this three fruit marmalade or this plum jam, or even a rhubarb jam (no pectin)
- lemon curd or other fruit curd, like in these grapefruit curd filled cookies
- thick chocolate ganache, like the milk chocolate ganache that you can spoon or pipe onto cookies once it's set
- maple butter (this would be SO GOOD!)
Note that depending on the filling you opt for, many options will require refrigeration, so you may want to store the baked shortbread cookie cutouts in a sealed airtight container at room temperature, and then fill the cookies just before serving.
Rolled shortbread cookie ingredient ratio
This shortbread cookie has a ratio that's pretty close to 4:1:4 by weight of butter/icing sugar/flour because the recipe has close to equal parts of butter and flour by weight and the weight of icing sugar is roughly ¼ the weight of flour.
For reference, I use a shortbread ratio of 1:2:3 ratio of sugar/butter/flour (by weight). But at that ratio, I usually press the cookie dough into a pan, like I did for these lavender shortbread cookies because the mixture is quite crumbly.
I suspect it's too crumbly to roll, in fact. So it would seem that a ratio of 1:2:3 by weight of butter/sugar/flour works well for pan shortbread, and a ratio of 4:1:4 by weight of butter/sugar/flour for rolled shortbread cookie cutouts.
This recipe is from the book Oh Sweet Day! by Fanny Lam (available on Amazon). I've written a review of the Oh Sweet Day! book in case you want to know more about the book. I'd say these are a more sophisticated version of jam thumbprint cookies. For a richer shortbread cookie option for the holidays, try the Egyptian shortbread, which are a family favourite!
Jam-Filled Shortbread Cookies
Jam filled shortbread cookies
- 125 mL strawberry jam
- icing sugar for dusting on top of sandwich cookies
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and ½ cup of the powdered sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
- Mix in the vanilla until combined.
- Sift in the flour and salt. Mix on low speed until just incorporated.
- Gather and form a dough. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 325 ºF (165 °C). Line two large cookie sheets with parchment paper (I love the big Nordic Ware cookie sheets that you can get on Amazon).
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to ¼-inch thickness. Cut out circles with 2-inch cookie cutter. Re-roll scraps to cut out as many circles as possible. You should get about 40 circles. With a tiny heart, star or diamond cookie cutter, cut out centre window in 20 of the circles. Place cookies on prepared cookie sheets, spacing them out.
- Bake 15 to 18 minutes. Let the edges brown just a touch. Not too much! Let cool completely.
How to assemble shortbread sandwich cookies with jam
- Dollop a teaspoon of jam on the 20 "full circle", bottom side of the cookies. Top with the cookies with a centre cut-out window.
- Dust lightly with powdered sugar.
- Recipe makes approximately 40 cookies, but if you sandwich them together with a filling, that would make roughly 20 sandwich cookies once assembled.
- This recipe comes from Oh Sweet Day by Fanny Lam (available on Amazon)
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