Bejeweled Mascarpone Cookies
1/2 cup butter (room temp.)
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 tsp. almond extract
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup mascarpone cheese (room temp)
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup seedless raspberry preserves
* Icing (use my Sweet Sugar Icing recipe)
* Cookie bling (silver or white nonpariels, colored sugars, whatever you like!)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add granulated sugar, baking powder, nutmeg, baking soda, and salt. Beat mixture until combined, scraping side of bowl occasionally. Beat in mascarpone cheese, extracts, and egg. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Using a wooden spoon, stir in any remaining flour. Divide dough in half. If necessary, cover and chill for 1 to 2 hours or until dough is easy to handle.
On a lightly floured surface, roll half of the dough at a time to a 1/8-inch thickness. Using 3-inch cookie cutters, cut out dough.Using hors d'oeuvre cutters (I actually used a bottle cap!), cut a small shape from the centers of half of the cookies. Place whole cookies on one cookie sheet lined with Reynold's parchment paper and lightly greased, place cutout cookies on another prepped cookie sheet (they may bake at different rates).
Bake for 3 to 5 minutes or until edges just start to brown. Keep an eye on them as they cook very quickly! Transfer cookies to a wire rack; cool. Spread cutout cookies with Sugar Icing and sprinkle with desired bling; let glaze set.
To assemble cookies, spoon preserves into a small mixing bowl and whisk until smooth. Spread the flat side of each whole cookie with about 1/2 teaspoon of the preserves. Top with a cutout cookie, flat side down. Makes about 24 sandwich cookies.
Pairs Well With
I made these cookies three times during the holidays and they were a huge hit. The photo you see was the first attempt: beautiful but painstaking! I had to pipe the icing with a pastry bag and it took ages! I switched to a simpler shape the next two times so that I could spread the icing, and it cut my time in half.
Cookie dough modified from a BHG recipe: