I can’t believe it’s the end of June and we’re heading into July (finally with some sunny weather in Vancouver). July 1st is also Canada Day! Though I was not born in Canada, I’ve lived here most of my life, I can say that I a proud Canadian! I was shopping for baking ingredients earlier in the week and came across a very cute Canadian maple leaf cookie cutter, when I suddenly got the idea of making these shortbread sandwiches. I’ve also made some strawberry jam just last week and it’s the perfect colour for these “I Heart Canada” cookie sandwiches. Speaking of strawberries, the flavour, taste, and colour of local fruit is so much higher in quality than Californian strawberries found in supermarkets here. As a result, the flavour and colour of the jam are much richer. But strawberry season here is short, so I usually make enough jam to last until the next year 🙂
The texture of these cookies are very delicate, just like how shortbread should be, the almonds also add a nice nutty flavour, which is quite nice with the fruity notes of the jam – love it!
- ½ lb. (1 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut in into ½-inch pieces
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ tsp. table salt
- 10 oz. (2¼ cups) all-purpose flour
- 3¾ oz. (¾ cup) finely ground almonds
- Raspberry, plum, sour cherry, or strawberry jam.
- Confectioners' sugar
- Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a large bowl with a hand mixer), combine the butter, sugar, and salt on low speed until the butter combines with the sugar but isn't perfectly smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the flour and almonds and mix on low speed, scraping the bowl frequently, until the dough has just about pulled together, about 3 minutes; don't overmix.
- Rolled the dough on a lightly floured surface to one-eighth to a quarter inch thick.
- Cut the shapes with a cookie cutter as close to one another as possible. Press the scraps together, roll them out, and cut out more coolies. If the dough becomes sticky, refrigerate it briefly.
- To make the sandwich tops, cut a smaller shapes (eg. circles or hearts) in the centre of half of the cookies; be sure the border is fairly wide so the cookie doesn't fall apart.
- Arrange the cookies on two parchment-lined baking sheets and refrigerate until chilled, at least 20 minutes.
- Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and heat the oven too 300 F. Bake the cookies until golden on the bottom and edges and pale to golden on top. 30 minutes to 1 hour. (Halfway through, rotate the baking sheets and swap their positions of even baking.) If the cookies are done before 30 minutes, reduce the oven temperature to 275 F for the remaining batches; if they take longer than 1 hour, increase the temperature to 325 F.
Adapted from The Beast of Fine Cooking: Cookies. The Taunton Press, 2012.