This recipe was published in the December 2005 issue of the now-defunct Gourmet magazine. They are called Spoon Cookies, because you shape them with a spoon. They take some extra effort, but they are SOOO GOOOOD! Bake these cookies at least 2 days before you need them.
- 2 sticks (1 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- ¾ cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ⅛ teaspoon salt, slightly rounded
- ⅓ cup fruit preserves (your choice) (I used a few different kinds: raspberry, apricot, blackberry, and strawberry)
Special equipment: a deep-bowled teaspoon (NOT a measuring spoon)
- Fill kitchen sink with about 2 inches of ice water.
- Melt butter in a 2- to 3-quart heavy saucepan over medium-low heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until butter turns golden brown, and emits a a nutty fragrance and flecks on bottom of pan turn a rich caramel brown. This will take about 10 to 12 minutes. (Your butter will initially foam, then dissipate. A thicker foam will appear and cover the surface just before butter begins to brown; stir more frequently toward end of cooking.)
- Place the saucepan in the sink to stop cooking, then cool, stirring frequently, until butter starts to look opaque, about 4 minutes. Remove saucepan from sink and stir in sugar and vanilla.
- Whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl and stir into butter mixture until a dough forms. Shape into a ball, wrap tightly with plastic wrap, and let stand at cool room temperature 1 to 2 hours.
NOTE: If you plan to bake the cookies the next day, refrigerate the dough. Allow the dough to come to room temperature before baking (about 30 minutes).
- When ready to bake the cookies, put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 325°F.
- Pull a walnut-sized piece of dough from the ball, and press into the bowl of teaspoon. Flatten the top, and remove any excess. Then slide out and place, flat side down, on an baking sheet lined with parchment paper. The dough will feel crumbly, but will stick together when pressed. Continue forming cookies and arranging on sheet.
- Bake cookies until just pale golden, 8 to 15 minutes. Cool cookies on the cookie sheet set on a cooling rack 5 minutes, then transfer cookies to rack and cool completely, about 30 minutes.
- While cookies cool, heat preserves in a small saucepan over low heat until just runny, then pour through a sieve into a small bowl, pressing hard on solids, and cool completely.
- Spread the flat side of a cookie with a thin layer of preserves. Sandwich with flat side of another cookie. Continue with remaining cookies and preserves, then let stand until set, about 45 minutes.
- Transfer cookies to an airtight container and wait 2 days before eating. YES, SERIOUSLY! You will be amazed how much the flavor intensifies after 2 days!
The cookies will keep about two weeks, sealed in an air-tight container. Recipes makes about 30 sandwich cookies.