Fresh thyme and lemon zest complement the blackberry fruit.
To create the peekaboo hole that lets the jam show through, use a linzer cookie cutter or a 1-inch round cookie cutter (for half of the cookies).
Make Ahead: The dough needs to be refrigerated (the first time) for at least 1 hour and up to 1 day. It can be frozen for up to 1 month. The cookies can be stored in an airtight tin at room temperature for 3 to 5 days. You'll have leftover lemon-thyme sugar, which can be kept at room temperature for several weeks.
Servings: 20 - 24 2-inch cookie sandwiches
- For the cookies
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 3/4 cups flour
- 1/4 to 1/3 cup seedless blackberry jam
- For the lemon-thyme sugar
- Finely grated zest from 1 lemon (2 teaspoons)
- 1/4 cup sugar
- Several leaves of fresh thyme, finely chopped
For the cookies: Combine the butter, sugar, egg, cream and vanilla extract in the bowl of a stand mixer or hand-held electric mixer. Beat on low speed, then on medium speed until well incorporated. Stop to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Add the salt, baking powder and flour; beat on low speed until just combined, forming a soft dough. Gather it into a ball, then flatten into a disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 1 day.
Unwrap the dough and place it between two large pieces of parchment paper. Roll out evenly to a thickness of 1/8 inch. Refrigerate (in the paper) for 10 to 15 minutes, until firm.
Line a few baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone liners.
Remove the top piece of parchment paper from the dough; place the dough (with paper on the bottom) on the counter. Use a 2-inch round cookie cutter to cut out as many rounds as you can, placing them on a lined baking sheet and refrigerating them for 10 to 15 minutes. If the dough seems too soft as you are working, return it to the refrigerator until it has chilled again.
Rewrap scraps of dough and return them to the refrigerator for 10 to 15 minutes. Repeat to cut out a total of 40 to 48 rounds of dough, making sure they are all chilled a second time. Use a linzer cookie cutter or a 1-inch round cookie cutter to create center holes in half of the rounds of cookie dough. Refrigerate the rounds with holes for 20 minutes; save scraps for another use, if desired.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Fill a small piping bag (or a quart-size resealable plastic food storage bag with the tip of one of its bottom corners snipped off) with the jam. Squeeze about 1/2 teaspoon of the jam onto the center of each bottom round of dough. Top with the second rounds that have a hole in them, pressing gently to create a sandwich. Rearrange on the baking sheets as needed, spacing the cookies 1 inch apart. Bake one sheet at a time for 10 to 12 minutes or until the edges of the cookies are barely golden brown.
While the cookies are in the oven, make the lemon-thyme sugar: Whisk together the zest, sugar and thyme leaves (to taste) in a medium bowl.
When the cookies are done, transfer the baking sheet to the stove top (off the heat). Immediately sprinkle some of the lemon-thyme sugar on the tops of the cookies, then transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely before serving or storing. Repeat to use all of the dough.
From Erica Skolnick of Frenchie's Handmade Pastries & Desserts in Northwest Washington.
Tested by Mary Pat Flaherty.
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