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Jam-Filled Sugar Cookie Stars

Kim, owner of Northern Michigan’s Bella e Dolce specialty cake bakery, gives a basic Le Cordon Bleu cookie an all-American shape.

Get more pretty and sweet holiday recipes from Kim Sperl’s kitchen in the December 2013 issue of Traverse, Northern Michigan’s Magazine.

Ingredients

3  1/4 cups all-purpose flour 15     tablespoons unsalted butter, cold, cubed
1 2/3 cups powdered sugar
1/2    teaspoon salt
1       teaspoon baking powder
1       egg yolk
4       tablespoons cold water
1       teaspoon vanilla
1/2    teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
Your favorite jam—strawberry or raspberry are great
Powdered sugar (for sprinkling)

Preparation

Pour flour into food processor with the diced butter. Pulse until flour/butter mixture is crumbly. Add powdered sugar, salt and baking powder. Pulse a few times to mix in. Add egg yolk, water, vanilla and (optional) cinnamon, then process until dough forms into ball in the bowl. Do not over mix! Flatten dough onto a sheet of plastic and form it into a 1-inch-high, round patty. Wrap dough in plastic and chill in refrigerator for 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, prepare baking pans lined with parchment paper, and gather two star cookie cutters, one large and one small (or use a small circle cutter as shown in photo). Roll out cookie dough on lightly floured surface making sure to turn the dough   turn occasionally to make sure it doesn’t stick to the table. Add more flour to surface only if necessary. Too much flour can cause the dough to become dry. Roll out dough to about 1/8-to- 1/4 inch thick.

Cut out an even quantity of large stars and set them on the cookie sheet. Cut a small star (or circle) out of the middle of half of the large stars with your small star (or circle) cookie cutter. (You can bake the small stars separately, or knead back into the scrap dough to roll out more large stars.)

Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes until lightly brown around the edges. Remove from oven and slide a cooling rack under the parchment paper to lift cookies off the hot pan. When cookies are completely cool, spread jam on the bottom of the whole-star cookies. Using a strainer or sifter, sprinkle powdered sugar over the top of the cutout cookies. Then sandwich the whole stars and cutout stars, joining bottom to bottom. Once all cookies are sandwiched, fill the center cutout with a bit more jam. First loosen the jam by adding about 1 teaspoon of hot water to  cup jam, then carefully spoon or pipe into the centers of the cookies. 
Enjoy!