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Raspberry White Chocolate Shortbreads Tested Recipe

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Shortbread Cookies with Raspberries & White Chocolate

I have a real weakness for shortbread. Luckily, it is one of the easiest cookies to make and one of the most versatile. Take this Raspberry White Chocolate Shortbread cookie which may look like a Linzer Cookie but it is actually two buttery sweet shortbreads with raspberry jam and grated white chocolate sandwiched in between. They look very festive and make an ideal cookie during the Christmas season with their coating of white powdered sugar and red raspberry jam poking through the cut out. The idea for this recipe came while browsing through Jann Johnson's Shortbread Book that is devoted to both sweet and savory recipes for the shortbread lover.

 

Sandwich cookies are about contrasts. Whether that means a contrast in flavors and/or textures. With these Raspberry White Chocolate Shortbreads the contrast in flavors is wonderful; two buttery sweet cookies paired with a tangy sweet filling. When making sandwich cookies you want the cookies all the same size because if the cookies are different sizes they don't fit together perfectly and the filling will leak out. Also, do not overfill the cookies with jam, as you want just enough jam to hold the cookies together. To keep the cookies crisp, It is best to fill the cookies the day of serving.

Although you can easily use a good quality store bought raspberry preserve to sandwich the cookies together, if you have the time, I recommend making your own. The recipe I give here has a flavor that is far superior to any commercial jam you can buy and is much cheaper as well. I came across this recipe in Carole Walter's Great Pies & Tarts and it is very simple to make yet it really brings out the tart yet sweet flavor of raspberries. All you need to do is combine unsweetened frozen raspberries with sugar and cook them on the stove until thick. Then a little lemon juice is added and you are done. It is best to cover and refrigerate the jam for a couple of days to give the flavors time to soften and mingle and for the jam to become firm.

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Shortbreads: In a separate bowl whisk the flour with the salt. 

In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the butter until smooth (about 1 minute). Add the sugar and beat until smooth (about 2 minutes). Beat in the vanilla extract. Gently stir in the flour mixture just until incorporated. Flatten the dough into a disk shape, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill the dough for at least an hour.  

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) with the rack in the middle of the oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

On a lightly floured surface roll out the dough until it is about 1/4 inch (1 cm) thick. Using a 2 to 3 inch (5 to 7.5 cm) cookie cutter (round, square, heart, etc.) cut out the dough.  Place the cookies about 1 inch (2.5 cm) apart on the prepared baking sheets. Use a smaller cookie cutter (3/4 - 1 inch (2.5 cm)) to cut out the centers of half of the cookies on the baking sheet. (You will be sandwiching two cookies together and there will be a small 'window or cut out' in the top cookie so you can see the jam underneath.)  Place the unbaked cookies, on the baking sheet, in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes. This will firm up the dough so the cookies will maintain their shape when baked. Bake for about 10 minutes, or until cookies are lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack.

To Assemble Cookies: Place the cookies with the cut-outs on a wire rack and dust the tops with the confectioners' (powdered or icing) sugar.

On the bottom surface of the full cookie (top of cookie will face out) spread with about a 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon of jam.  Sprinkle with a little grated white chocolate. Place the cut-out cookie on top and gently sandwich them together, making sure not to smug the confectioners' sugar. Using a small spoon, fill the cut-out with a little more jam.

Makes about 12 sandwich cookies.

Note: You can store the unassembled cookies for several days in an airtight container. It is best, though, to assemble the cookies the same day as serving in order to keep the cookies crisp.

Homemade Raspberry Preserves: Place the frozen unsweetened raspberries and the sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes or until most of the liquid has evaporated. Do not let it burn. Remove from heat and pour into a heatproof measuring cup. You should have almost a cup of preserves. Add a drop or two of lemon juice. Cover and place in the refrigerator for a few days before using.

Adapted From:

Johnson, Jann. Shortbread. Chronicle Books. San Francisco. 1997.

Shortbreads:

2 cups (260 grams) all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup (226 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature

1/2 cup (60 grams) powdered (confectioners or icing) sugar

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Filling:

1/4 - 1/2 cup of raspberry jam or homemade raspberry preserves

2 ounces (60 grams) white chocolate, grated

Homemade Raspberry Preserves: (optional)

2 cups (225 grams) (8 ounces) frozen raspberries, unsweetened

1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated white sugar

a few drops of fresh lemon juice

 

 
 
     
 

 

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