Thursday, May 9, 2013

Strawberry Windowpane Cookies for Teacher Appreciation Week



Sometimes I get an idea in my head and tell myself "oh yeah, I can do that in a reasonable amount of time with a 2 month old and a 4 year old"...It doesn't usually work out to be completed in a reasonable amount of time, as I'm sure you figured out. Such is the case with the cookies I made for Teacher Appreciation Week, which is this week if you didn't already know that. Now...about the cookies. Don't let that fool you though, there's no refrigerating the dough before rolling so these are actually really quick to make if you're not stopping every two minutes to help a child with something :).

For my son's school they are celebrating Teacher Appeciation Week (obviously), and I've known about him needing to take in cookies today for a few days but of course I didn't plan. I tend to be a procrastinator and it usually works out okay :). I talked to his teacher when I picked him up yesterday about todays cookie requirements, which were really just "cookies, any kind". I am pretty sure I am not physically able to simply make chocolate chip cookies to take somewhere, anywhere. If I did then I would have to add three kinds of chips or something that makes them a little different.

I was brainstorming last night about what I had on hand and what I could make and the idea of windowpane cookies came to me, with a bright red apple in the middle. Fun yes? So I ran with it. I also made some Chocolate Chip Cookie Meringues for the occasion but that recipe will make an appearance on the blog soon. But here's a preview:


They look just like chocoate chip cookies, no? :) I'm so excited about sharing those with you too. If you like meringues then you will love them, it's like chocolate chip cookies without the guilt! (That might be their new tagline because I like it). Back to the other cookies otherwise I may end up sharing the wrong recipe :). I decided on a simple sugar cookie with strawberry jam sandwiched in between. There are two reasons I used strawberry jam: 1. It's what I had and I wasn't going to the store last night. 2. Apple jam is usually apple jelly and it's also gold in color typically and I didn't want to add food coloring. Unless if course I used apple butter (which I also don't have right now anyway) and then they could have been brown apples. Not so appealing, yes? That's why I used strawberry, because I wanted red apples.

I hand cut the little apples with a paring knife but you could (and should) use a tiny cookie cutter in any shape that you want too to cut out the hole in the top cookie. These cookies would be perfect for any holiday, really, even talk like a pirate day. I'm sure there's a tiny ship cookie cutter somewhere :). The good thing about these is that they keep well for a few days, assuming you don't eat them all the first day, sharing is caring :). Just cover them and pop them in the refrigerator. I was irrationally worried that the moisture in the refrigerator would melt the powdered sugar, but it was fine the next day. So don't worry yourself about it. I should be the president of the Let's Worry About Irrational Things club. Happy Baking everyone! Don't forget to thank your teachers :)



Strawberry Windowpane Cookies
Makes about 28 - 2 ½” sandwich cookies

Ingredients:
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon almond extract
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1-2 tablespoons powdered sugar
- 3 tablespoons seedless strawberry jam

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350F. In a mixer blend together the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add the two egg yolks and extracts, mix until combined. Add the flour, mix until a smooth dough is formed, being careful not to overmix the dough.
2. Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface to ” thick. Cut out circles with a 2 ½” cookie cutter. Cut the desired smaller shape out of half the circles. Place the circles on a cookie sheet lined with a silpat or parchment paper. Gather the scraps and re-roll the dough, repeating the process until the dough is used up.
3. Bake the cookies for 11-13 minutes or until light golden brown around the edges. Cool on the pan for 1-2 minutes then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
4. Lay out the tops of the cookies on a clean surface and sprinkle with powdered sugar. Spread about ½ teaspoon of strawberry jam on the bottom of each cookie, then cover with the tops. Be careful not to put too much jam in the middle or the top will slide off the bottom. Store in the refrigerator, covered tightly.


Recipe adapted from Allrecipes

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