First, a family confession. My mom has a bit of a lemon addiction. Anytime she sees a recipe for something with lemon she feels compelled to add it to her recipe collection. Last time I helped her organize her recipes there were hundreds of recipes for lemony creations…chicken, curd, dessert bars, cakes…you name it, it was there. So when she sent this recipe to me after making it for a Christmas cookie exchange in 2005, I figured it was just another tart treat, but nothing extraordinary. Boy, was I wrong. She found a winner with this one. Thanks, Mom! (You’ll be thanking her, too!)
½ C raspberry jam or jelly
1 Tbsp Chambord, Kirsch, or other raspberry liquor
2¼ C all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
2 sticks of butter, room temperature
2/3 C sugar
2 large egg yolks
1 Tbsp lemon zest, finely grated
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 C confectioner’s sugar
1½ tsp almond extract
2 tsp water
Preheat oven to 350˚. In a small bowl, combine jam and raspberry liquor. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt, whisking to blend.
In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar using an electric mixer until light and creamy. Beat in egg yolks, lemon zest, lemon juice and vanilla. Add the flour mixture in 2 additions and beat just until moist clumps form. Gather dough into a ball.
Using a 1” scoop (or you can eyeball it), form dough into balls. Place 1” apart on baking sheets. Use finger or back of a ½ teaspoon measuring spoon to create depressions in the center of each ball. Fill indentation with nearly ½ teaspoon for jam mixture. Bake 13-14 minutes. Transfer to wire rack to cool completely.
In a small bowl, whisk together confectioner’s sugar, almond extract and water. After cookies have cooled, drizzle back and forth across cookies.
Yields 2½ – 3 dozen cookies
The taste: The cookie is a flaky, shortbread base with a hint of lemon. Pair this with the touch of raspberry in the center and the hint of almond in the glaze and you’ve got a winning cookie! Yum, yum!
The ease: Although these look difficult to make, they are simple. The most difficult part is rolling the dough into balls and pressing divots to hold the raspberry filling.
The fat-assness: With two sticks of butter for 36ish cookies means approximately ½ tablespoon of butter per cookie. You may have a fat ass after eating these, but it will be worth it!
The cleanup: 4 bowls, the mixer and utensils. And, 2 cookie sheets. Or, you can take my favorite easy route and line the sheets with parchment paper. Easy schmeasy.
The verdict: They look beautiful (this batch doesn’t look so hot, as the Texas heat got to them), taste delicious and are simple. What’s not to like about that?
The variation: Although I haven’t done it, I imagine that using orange zest and juice for the lemon (sorry, Mom) and strawberry jam for the raspberry would be a delicious alternative.
The tip: When making cookies, always beat the butter and sugar more than you think you should. It should lighten in color and look fluffy. Then, once the flour is added, beat minimally, just enough to combine the ingredients. You’ll get tender, flaky cookies every time!