I love Christmas cookies decorated with royal icing but they’re an absolute pain to make. You have to mix up several batches of icing for all the different colors you want, fit multiple pastry bags with tips, and then carefully fill each bag with icing. All that before you even start decorating! It’s very time consuming and the clean up is no fun either. These stunning Christmas cookies are much less work but no less beautiful. The idea for these cookies comes from the The New York Times. Their recipe calls for a linzer cookie dough but I opted for a classic sugar cookie dough because I thought the paler color of the dough would highlight the red raspberry jam better. Plus, I already had a batch of sugar cookie dough in my freezer just waiting to be transformed into Yuletide goodness!
Because these are essentially two individual cookies sandwiched together you’ll want to roll the cookie dough out fairly thin – to a thickness of about 1/16 inch. When rolling out cookie dough it’s sometimes hard to keep it an even thickness, especially if you’re trying to roll it out thin, like you need to with these cookies. This is the rolling pin I use and I swear by it! You will never have uneven cookies or pie crust again!
The raspberry jam acts as the glue that holds the two cookies together and adds a delicious tart layer of flavor. Use the bottom of a drinking straw to cut holes in the cookies which will resemble ornaments on each of the trees. Some straws have bigger openings than others. Make sure the straw opening is at least 1/4 inch so you have nice sized holes to showcase the raspberry jam.
- 1 cup butter
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup raspberry jam
- 1 teaspoon confectioner’s sugar
- Cream the butter, sugar, baking powder, vanilla, and salt.
- Add the egg to blend.
- Add the flour and mix until well combined. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at least one hour.
- Roll out the cookie dough on a floured counter to a thickness of 1/16 of an inch and stamp out 56 cookies using a Christmas tree cookie cutter that measures about 2 ½ inches wide by 3 ½ inches high. Place the cookies on parchment lined sheet pans.
- Using the bottom of a drinking straw that has a ¼ inch opening, make holes on half (28) of the Christmas trees. There should be about 9 or 10 holes on each cookie.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes. Cool completely.
- Spread a thin layer of raspberry jam onto the bottom (flat side) of one of the cookies without the holes and then top it with one of the cookies with holes, flat sides together. Press the cookies together gently. Repeat with the remaining cookies. Dust with confectioner's sugar.
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