Drei Augen (German Shortbread Sandwich Cookies)

Total Time:
18 min
Prep:
3 min
Cook:
15 min

Yield:
Makes 3 dozen 1 1/2 inch cooki

Ingredients
Directions

Dough: In a medium bowl, blend the flour, ground nuts, and cinnamon briefly with a wire whisk; set aside. In the large bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter at medium-low speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Beat in the sugar at medium speed until well combined and slightly fluffy, scraping down the sides of the bowl. Lower mixer sped, gradually add the dry ingredients, and mix just until the mixture is thoroughly combined.

Divide the dough in thirds. Roll out each portion of dough between 2 sheets of waxed paper to form a circle 11 inches in diameter and 1/8 inch thick. Leaving the dough circles between the sheets of waxed paper, stack them on a baking sheet and refrigerate until firm, for at least 2 hours or up to 3 days; or freeze, well wrapped, up to 1 month.

Adjust rack to lower third of oven and preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line two large cool baking sheets with parchment paper.

Remove one dough package at a time from refrigerator. Peel off top sheet of waxed paper, replace it loosely on top, and flip the entire package over. Peel off and discard the second sheet of waxed paper. Using a 1 1/2-inch round cutter, cut out circles in the dough. Using the narrow end of a 3/8-inch plain pastry tip (such as Ateco #3) as a cutter, cut out three small holes in each circle. Space the cookies 1/2 inch apart on a baking sheet. Bake for 13 to 15 minutes, or until the cookies are pale golden, no longer appear raw or shiny, and feel slightly firm (lightly touch a few). Place baking sheet on wire rack to cool 5 minutes. Lift the cookies from the parchment with a metal spatula to a rack to cool.

Repeat with the other two portions of dough, cutting out holes in only one-quarter of these circle in order to sandwich the cookies later. Keep in mind that when there is a mixture of cookies with and without holes, the cookies with holes bake faster. Remove them from the oven with a metal spatula to a wire rack. Return the baking sheet to the oven until the remaining cookies are done.

Decoration: Using a sieve, dust the powdered sugar just over the tops of the cookies with holes.

In a small saucepan, boil the currant jelly for 2 minutes to evaporate some of its liquid. Cool just until warm. Spoon about 1/4 teaspoon jelly on each plain circle, baked-bottom side up. Center a sugared circle on top of a jellied bottom, and gently press so the jelly fills in the three holes. Repeat with the remaining cookies.

Stack undecorated cookies in an airtight metal contained and store at room temperature up to 10 days. Store decorated cookies in a single layer in a covered foil-lined cardboard container, such as a cake box, at room temperature up to 3 days.


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