About this recipe
While I consider myself a pretty darn good baker, success with rolled dough and cookie cutters has eluded me. I’ve kept trying, and I finally found a recipe that works like a charm. This recipe is from Jennifer Darling’s Cookies for Christmas (Meredith, 1999). If the thought of cookie cutters and rolling out cookie dough sends you into despair like it used to do to me, then you have to try these. Another bonus — you can use Weisenberger cornmeal and our wonderful local fruit jams for the filling.
Some fruit/herb combinations I like are apricot or orange with sage; fig, lemon or strawberry with rosemary; cherry, raspberry or blackberry with thyme. Any of them with mint or lemon verbena. I recommend Yoder’s jams and preserves from Crab Orchard, Kentucky: The texture of their jams is perfect for these cookies. When rolling the dough do try to work quickly and roll the dough as thinly as you can. They don’t spread when baked and if the cookies are fairly thick, when you sandwich them they will be too big.
Preheat oven to 375°. In the bowl of a food processor, mix together the fl our, sugar and cornmeal. Pulse in butter until mixture resembles fine crumbs and starts to cling together. Pulse in the fresh chopped herb and milk. Turn dough onto a work surface and knead until smooth. Divide dough in half and place in refrigerator for 10 minutes.
Place half of lightly chilled dough on a floured work surface. Roll dough to ⅛-inch thickness. Use a 2-inch cookie cutter to cut out dough. Roll and cut out remaining dough half. (Scraps can be pressed together, chilled briefly and rolled out again.) As an alternative, roll out dough and cut it in squares.
In a small bowl, combine the egg white and water. Brush half of the cookies with the egg white mixture. Place a sage leaf or rosemary leaves on each coated cookie. Brush the leaves with the egg white mixture. Sprinkle generously with sugar. Place all the cookies on parchment-lined cookie sheets.
Bake for 7 minutes or until edges are firm and started to lightly brown. Transfer cookies to a rack to cool.
Spread fruit preserves on each cookie without a leaf. Top with a leaf-topped cookie. Makes about 2 dozen sandwich cookies.
The unfilled cookies keep for several days in an airtight container. Once the preserves are added, they will maintain a nice texture for a day at room temperature, then they will start to soften.