Makes 14 to 16 cookies
¾ lb. unsalted butter at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
3½ cups all-purpose flour
¼ tsp. salt
¾ cup good raspberry preserves
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together the butter and sugar until they are just combined. Add the vanilla. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour and salt, then add them to the butter-and-sugar mixture. Mix on low speed until the dough starts to come together. Dump onto a surface dusted with flour and shape into a flat disk. Wrap in plastic and chill for 30 minutes.
3. Roll the dough to ¼-in. thick and make 2¾-in. cutouts with a plain or fluted cutter. With half of the cutouts, use a 1-in. cutter to remove the middle. Place all cookies on an ungreased baking sheet and chill for 15 minutes.
4. Bake the cookies for 20 to 25 minutes until the edges begin to brown. Allow to cool to room temperature. Spread raspberry preserves on the flat side of each solid cookie. Dust the top of the cutout cookies with confectioners’ sugar, and press the flat sides together, with the raspberry preserves in the middle and the confectioners’ sugar on the top.
Reprinted from The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook Copyright © 1999 by Ina Garten