If you want to surprise your sweetheart with a delicious sweet treat for Valentine’s day, but haven’t had time to prepare anything yet, don’t worry, there’s still time. These adorable sandwich cookies are as cute as they are tasty, and like every great relationship, they get better and better with time.
The dough is extremely forgiving and easy to work with. Here are a couple of tips to help with typical issues you may encounter while rolling out any type of stubborn cookie dough:
- If the dough cracks really badly, simply let it warm up for a couple of minutes before giving it another try.
- Keep rotating the dough after each pass with your rolling pin to make sure it doesn’t stick to the counter top. If it sticks, gently lift up the sides, sprinkle a little bit of flour under the dough and carefully rotate the dough disc to distribute the flour.
- If the last batch of dough (all the leftover ‘clippings’ from the other batches) feels too dry due to the additional flour that has been incorporated when it was rolled out, don’t give up and throw it away. You can make the dough supple and smooth again by rubbing a couple of drops of vegetable oil on the palms of your hands and briefly kneading the dough with your oily hands.
If you are in a rush, you can speed up the entire process by cutting the recipe in half and dividing the dough into smaller portions before putting it in the fridge to rest (you could even skip the resting period all-together, just be extra careful to avoid sticking when you roll out the dough).
If you only have enough time to make a really small batch, you can store the remaining dough in the fridge for up to two days, or wrap it tightly in plastic wrap, place it in a freezer bag, and transfer it to the freezer until you’re in the mood for baking again (or until the next time you need to score some extra brownie points with your sweetie). Depending on how long your oven take to heat up, I’d say you could make a batch of 10 or so sandwich cookies in about 45 minutes.
You might think that these cookies look an awful lot like Linzer cookies, and you’re right, the two recipes are closely related. The main difference being that Linzer cookies contain ground almonds or hazelnuts. Hilda cookies on the other hand don’t contain any nuts and are traditionally filled with red current jelly. They are often assembled as ‘terrace cookies’, meaning three cookies of the same shape in different sizes are stacked with jelly or jam in between, and then dusted with powdered sugar. The sandwich cookie design you see here maximizes the jam-to-cookies ratio, making them even more delicious.
Here are a couple of tips to get the perfect Valentine’s day look:
- Dust the top halves of the cookies with powdered sugar before assembling them.
- Although jam, ganache, and even Nutella work well for these cookies, jelly is my personal favorite due to its smooth, translucent look.
- When spreading the jelly on the bottom halves, make sure to leave a border of 1/8-1/4 inch around the edge and to add more jelly to the center.
- When assembling the cookies, gently press the top layer down onto the bottom layer so the jelly pushes up through the hole a little bit.
- 7 ounces butter, softened
- 14 ounces all-purpose flour (plus more for rolling out dough)
- 2.5 ounces powdered sugar (plus more for dusting)
- 2 egg yolks
- 2 teaspoons vanilla sugar or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
- 13 ounces (1 jar) red current jelly (or other jam)
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter until smooth. Add flour, powdered sugar, yolks, vanilla, and salt. Mix until well combined, coarse, and crumbly. Continue kneading by hand until a cohesive ball forms. Tightly wrap the dough in plastic wrap and transfer to the refrigerator to rest for about 20 minutes.
- In the meantime, bring jelly or jam to a boil in a small saucepan. Whisk until completely melted and smooth. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the mixture thickens slightly, about 5 minutes.
- Roll out dough on a lightly floured counter top to about 1/4 inch thickness. Cut out even number of cookies and transfer them to a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Add decorative holes in half of the cookies. Bake a 350°F until edges are just starting to brown, about 10 minutes.
- Transfer cookies to cooling rack and let cool for 2-3 minutes. Dust top halves (with cutouts) with powdered sugar. Assemble cookies with 1-2 teaspoons of jelly. Set aside to cool completely.
- Store in an airtight container.
Enjoy and happy Valentine’s day!