Makes about 3 1/2 dozen sandwich cookies
The magazine's recipe format changed once again in 1984. Now the ingredients were lined up as a kind of shopping list that you could check before you began to cook. The directions changed too, into the terse language that we now consider de rigueur for recipes. This recipe belonged to Gourmet contributor Lillian Langseth-Christensen. Known as Liesl, she was an extraordinary writer and designer as well as a talented baker. She lived in a hunting lodge outside Vienna, where she developed recipes using American ingredients that she bought at the PX on a nearby U.S. military base. We have hundreds of her recipes, but we particularly like these buttery treats filled with apricot or strawberry jam. A little rum in the dough sets off its tangy sweetness.
For the dough
cups all-purpose flour
sticks (3/4 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into bits
large egg yolk, beaten lightly
light rum or vanilla
cup jam such as apricot or strawberry, heated and strained
Make the dough:
Into a bowl, sift together the flour and the sugar, add the butter, and blend the mixture until it resembles meal. Add the egg yolk, the rum, and 2 tablespoons ice water, toss the mixture until it is combined, and form the dough into a ball. Knead the dough lightly with the heel of the hand against a smooth surface for a few seconds to distribute the fat evenly, and re-form it into a ball. Dust the dough with flour and chill it, wrapped in wax paper, for 30 minutes.
Halve the dough, roll out half of it 1/8 inch thick on a floured surface, and cut it into rounds with a 1 1/2-inch fluted cutter. Gather the scraps together, re-roll them, and cut out more rounds. Roll out the remaining half of the dough 1/8 inch thick and cut out more rounds in the same manner. Cut out the center of half the rounds with a 1/2-inch plain round cutter to form rings. Bake the rounds and rings in batches on greased baking sheets in the middle of a preheated 325 F oven for 12 minutes, or until the edges are faintly golden. Transfer the cookies to a rack and let them cool. Sandwich the cookies together with the jam.
1. Roll out the dough between sheets of parchment or wax paper.
2. For cleaner edges, chill or freeze the dough before and after cutting the rounds.
3. After sandwiching the cookies, use extra jam to top off the centers.