makes about 3 dozen
This is one of those simple butter-based cookies; every culture has one. They last a few weeks in a cookie tin and can be filled with any chunky jam you like. Apricot jam happens to be my favorite, but every fruit of the season had a matching jam in Nonna Rosa’s cupboard, so when I was growing up the cookies varied with the seasons.
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
- 2 tablespoons sugar, plus more for sprinkling
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold, cut into small pieces
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 2 tablespoons ice water, or as needed
- 3/4 cup chunky apricot jam
- Heavy cream, for brushing
Combine the flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor, and pulse to combine. Add the butter, and pulse until the pieces are the size of small peas. Whisk the egg with 2 tablespoons of ice water, and add this to the processor. Pulse just until the dough comes together in a crumbly ball. (If the dough is still very sandy, add more water, a tablespoon at a time.)
Put the crumbly dough on the counter, and knead briefly to bring it together. Form it into a disk, wrap it in plastic wrap, and chill until it’s just firm, about 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment. Dust your work surface with flour, and roll the dough about 1/4 inch thick. Use a 3-inch round cutter to cut out as many circles as you can. Dollop about a teaspoon of jam on one half of each circle, and brush the perimeter with cream. Fold in half, and press a fork around the edges to crimp and seal the cookie, making a semicircle. Place them on the baking sheet. Reroll the remaining dough once, to cut more circles. Use a paring knife to cut a small slit in the top of each cookie, to allow steam to vent. Brush all of the cookies with cream, and then sprinkle them with sugar.
Bake until the cookies are crisp and golden brown, about 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer them to a rack to cool. Serve them warm or at room temperature.