Italian Butter Cookies + Raspberry Jam

bourbonBaking in my house usually goes along with cocktail time. Once the mixer gets going, I usually hear the “cling cling” of ice cubes in a glass, which is my husband getting his favorite beverage ready for consumption: bourbon. My wine bar that was crafted as a present for me a few Christmases ago has now turned into a bourbon display, complete with some artifacts that required months of searching. There is something about this time of night that just means so much to me. Josh will sip on his beverage while hanging around with me in the kitchen, watching as I whip up some confection. It’s treasured time in a life that has become ever so hectic. Tonight, it was Italian butter cookies with raspberry jam. Easter is on Sunday which is when my family comes to feast. I couldn’t be happier. Sharing my dinner table is like sharing a slice of my heart.I started off this recipe by creaming together my butter and sugar. This is a step that should not be rushed. It is where most of the texture comes from in these cookies. You want to whip these two together so they look light and fluffy. Complete sweet and savory harmony. Then throw in the egg and vanilla. I use Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla, why, because I think the quality improves my recipes. In Italian cooking, the list of ingredients are short, don’t skimp, your audience will know.
Basically. I rolled out this dough like you would any other on a floured surface. I used my ravioli cutter to cut the squares out and form a nice little decorative edge. I have found my ravioli cutters to be a trusty little tool in the kitchen and use them for many things outside of pasta. This dough is pretty easy to work with so you shouldn’t run into any problems. Shapes are entirely up to you. Get creative.
After my husband kept begging me for some of the dough, I finally caved. I turned around after a few moments and found this on the baking sheet. It’s nice to know that after two kids and a few years together, things like this still happen.
After I assembled all of my cookies, I chose to dip a few in chocolate and sprinkle them with something colorful and playful. In Italian bakeries, the raspberry butter cookie dipped in chocolate is a staple and one of my absolute favorites. No matter how “good” I am trying to be, this always get me to cave. And why shouldn’t they? Take a gander, these tasty treats are wonderful.

ITALIAN BUTTER COOKIES WITH RASPBERRY JAM

INGREDIENTS

1 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups flour
raspberry jam
dark chocolate for dipping (optional)
sprinkles (optional)
confectioner’s sugar for dusting

DIRECTIONS

Beat butter and sugar until very light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add egg and vanilla, beat until combined. Add dry ingredients, mix until just combined.

You could fill a pastry bag with a star tip which would give you the traditional shape of the cookie but I found it was easier to just roll out on a well floured surface and cut into desired shapes. Place cookies on parchment paper lined baking sheet.

Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes or until just golden. Let cool slightly on cookie sheets, then remove carefully and cool completely on wire rack

Mix jam with a spoon in a small bowl until it has a smooth consistency. Spread just a thin layer on one half of each cookie. Top with another cookie and let sit for a few hours. The cookies will soften and the jam will set.

Temper dark chocolate for dipping, or top the cookies with powdered sugar. Enjoy!

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