Prep 50 mins
Cook 5 mins
Mascarpone, the super-rich Italian cream cheese, makes these preserve-filled cookies tender and flaky. Trim the cookie tops with white nonpareils. Vary the cutter shapes to make these for Christmas, Valentines Day or Easter. They are pretty red and white cookies. Choose the smallest nonpareils you can find.
- 1⁄2 cup butter
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1⁄4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 dash salt
- 1⁄2 cup mascarpone cheese or 1⁄2 cup cream cheese
- 1 egg
- 2 1⁄2 cups all-purpose flour
- powdered sugar glaze
- white multicolored sugar nonpareils (optional)
- 2⁄3 cup preserves (seedless raspberry or strawberry)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add granulated sugar, baking powder, nutmeg, baking soda, and salt. Beat mixture until combined, scraping side of bowl occasionally. Beat in mascarpone cheese and egg. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Using a wooden spoon, stir in any remaining flour. Divide dough in half. If necessary, cover and chill for 1 to 2 hours or until dough is easy to handle.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll half of the dough at a time to a 1/8-inch thickness. Using 3-inch cookie cutters, cut out dough. If desired, cut a small hole in the top of each cookie with a straw. Using hors d?oeuvre cutters, cut a small shape from the centers of half of the cookies. Place whole cookies on one lightly greased cookie sheet and cutout cookies on another lightly greased cookie sheet (they may bake at different rates).
- Bake for 5 to 7 minutes or until edges start to brown. Transfer cookies to a wire rack; cool. Spread cutout cookies with Powdered Sugar Glaze and sprinkle with nonpareils; let glaze set.
- To assemble cookies, spread the flat side of each whole cookie with about 1/2 teaspoon of the preserves. Top with a cutout cookie, flat side down. Makes about 64 sandwich cookies.
- Powdered Sugar Glaze: In a small bowl, combine 1 cup sifted powdered sugar and 1/4 teaspoon vanilla. Stir in enough milk (2 to 4 teaspoons) to make icing easy to spread.
- Make-Ahead Tip: Prepare and bake the cookies as directed; cool (do not ice or fill). Place cookies in layers separated by waxed paper in an airtight container. Store at room temperature for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw frozen cookies, covered, at room temperature. Spread with glaze, decorate, and fill as directed. If desired, store cookies in an airtight container for up to 24 hours.