Spitzbuben

Recipe By:  Andy Johnston

Their little windows, along with their generous dusting of icing sugar, make these Swiss cookies a pretty and delicious addition to any holiday spread.

Ingredients
  • 3⁄4 lb. (3 sticks) butter, softened
  • 2 cups icing sugar
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 3 1⁄2 cups flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cup seedless raspberry preserves or jam
Directions Yield:  Makes about 3 dozen cookies

1. Beat butter and 1 1⁄2 cups of the icing sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks one at a time, beating until smooth after each addition, then add flour 1⁄2 cup at a time, beating after each addition. Mix in pinch of salt. Scrape bowl out well and place dough on a large sheet of plastic wrap. Press into a 9-inch x 11-inch rectangle. Cover with plastic wrap, place on a large platter and refrigerate for 1 hour.

2. Preheat oven to 325°F. Place two racks evenly spaced in the center of the oven. Divide chilled dough into 6 even pieces, then rewrap 5 pieces and put back in fridge.

3. On a lightly floured surface, work one dough piece at a time. Keeping surface and dough floured, roll dough into a 9 inch square. Using a 3 inch round cookie cutter, cut out 9 circles of dough and transfer them to a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, spacing cookies about 1 inch apart (reserve dough scraps for rerolling later). Repeat process with remaining chilled dough pieces, then combine leftover scraps into a ball, reroll and continue cutting circles until most of the dough is gone. Using a 1 1⁄4 inch round cookie cutter, punch a hole in the centre of half of the circles — these will become the tops. Bake all cookies in batches, rotating pans on racks halfway through, until cookies are a pale golden color, about 15 minutes. Let cookies cool.

4. Pour raspberry preserves into a small pot and heat over medium until it comes to a boil, stirring every so often. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, still stirring, until thickened and reduced by one-quarter, about 5 minutes. Transfer preserves to a bowl and cool.

5. Using a fine-mesh sieve, dust cookie tops with remaining 1⁄2 cup of icing sugar. Turn whole cookies upside down and spoon about 1⁄2 teaspoon of preserves onto each cookie. Using a small spatula, spread preserves to within 1⁄8 inch of the edges. Cover each with a cookie top. Transfer remaining preserves into a plastic bag and snip the end. Using it like a piping bag, pipe a small amount of preserves into each hole. Serve cookies immediately or store between sheets of wax paper in an airtight container at room temperature.


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