As any baker knows, rolling dough can quickly become a sticky situation. Cookie dough can be especially difficult to work with because recipes often call for the dough to be rolled thin – which makes pick up and transfer of cut-out cookies tricky.
Next time you’re rolling cookie dough, try this tip: Roll the dough out between two sheets of waxed paper to your preferred thickness, cut out all your cookies and try picking up one. If it doesn’t come out easily, replace the top sheet of waxed paper with a clean piece, carefully turn the whole thing over, and peel off the waxed paper that’s now on the top. It should be easier to pick up cut-out cookies with your fingers or a thin spatula to place on the cookie sheet.
(Makes about 4 dozen )
I created these cookies several years ago as gifts to provide single friends on Valentine’s Day (I was also single at the time). For the last few years I made them for Mom on Valentine’s Day, as she was a cookie lover. I have also made them at Christmas, cutting the cookie shape into small gingerbread men, but still cutting the interior shape as a heart.
1 package (14 ounce) blanched slivered (or whole) almonds
3 1/3 cups cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 cups butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Good quality raspberry jam or preserves
Finely grind the almonds in a food processor; set aside. Sift together flour, baking powder and cinnamon in a medium mixing bowl; set aside.
Cream butter with an electric mixer until soft; gradually add sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time, then vanilla, beating until well mixed. Stir in ground almonds, then the flour mixture. Mix well. Divide dough into fourths, shaping into round, flat patties. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm-overnight is best. (But, if you are like me and not that organized, an hour may be enough; the longer it chills the easier the dough is to work with.)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease 2 to 4 cookie sheets (depending on how many you have on hand).
Take one portion of the dough out of the refrigerator and roll between 2 pieces of waxed paper to 1/4- to 1/8-inch thickness. The thinner the better, but the dough becomes tricky to maneuver when it is really thin. (If you roll dough to 1/4-inch thickness, you will end up with about 2 1/2 dozen cookies instead of 4 dozen.) Cut with a 2-inch heart-shaped cookie cutter and place half on one of the prepared cookie sheets. Cut out centers of remaining cookies with a small (1/4- to 1/2-inch) heart or circle shaped cookie cutter; place cookies on prepared cookie sheet. Re-roll leftover dough and continue cutting out cookies until all the dough is used. Bake cookies for 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly brown. Remove to wire rack to cool. Repeat steps with remaining portions of dough that have been in the refrigerator.
Using a small spoon spread a small amount of raspberry jam (1/2 to 1 teaspoon) on the bottom side of each solid baked cookie. Top with cut out cookie, bottom side down, and press slightly to adhere. Sift powdered sugar over the top.
Store in airtight containers.