Lemon Raspberry Cookies

I have been dreaming about making these cookies ever since the success of my Lemon Raspberry Cupcakes last month.  As I mentioned in that post, I am trying to explore other non-cupcake desserts so I decided to use the lemon and raspberry flavors to create a new cookie.

Today was my last night shift of the month for vascular surgery so instead of sleeping, I decided to whip up a batch in celebration.  I think they were worth the sacrificed hours of sleep!

This cookie uses the same raspberry frosting from the lemon raspberry cupcakes (minus the heavy cream) and sandwiches it between two lemon shortbread cookies.   You will likely have leftover frosting…but since when is leftover frosting a bad thing?  Click below for the recipe and more pictures.

Lemon Raspberry Sandwich Cookies 
(makes about 40 sandwich cookies)

Lemon Shortbread Cookies

1 1/2 cups (3/4 pound) butter, at room temperature (no substitutes)
2/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons lemon zest
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/3 cups flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 325°F.

Cover bottoms of two baking sheets with parchment or brown paper. In a large bowl (or stand mixer), cream together the butter, sugar, lemon zest, and vanilla with an electric mixer. Mix until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add flour, cornstarch, and salt and beat until incorporated. Divide dough in half. Flatten into squares and wrap in plastic. Chill until firm, at least 2 hours or overnight.

Remove dough from the fridge- it may need to rest at room temperature for 15-20 minutes before you can roll it out.  On a floured board, roll  each square to a thickness of 1/4 inch. The dough may crack slightly when rolling, if this happens then just squeeze the dough back together to seal the cracks as you go.  Cut the dough into 1 inch  rounds with a cookie cutter, small glass or even the top of a spice jar (essentially whatever you have that is roughly a 1 inch circle). Transfer to baking sheets, spacing cookies about 1 inch apart. Bake 12-14 minutes until pale golden (do not brown). Cool slightly, then transfer to a rack.

Raspberry Buttercream Frosting

12 oz raspberries (fresh or frozen)
1 cup (2 sticks) of butter at room temperature
4 1/2 cups of powdered sugar, divided

Heat raspberries in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until berries are broken down. Pour into a blender and puree until smooth. Strain raspberry puree through a fine mesh strainer to remove the seeds. Return puree to the saucepan and simmer over low heat until reduced by about 1/2 (5-10 minutes), you should have 1/2 cup of raspberry puree. Let sit at room temperature for about an hour and then chill in refrigerator 1-2 hours until cool and thick. Can be made 1-2 days ahead of time.

In a stand-mixer with a whip attachment, whip the butter and 2 cups of powdered sugar until combined. Add the raspberry mixture and mix to combine. Gradually add the remaining 2 1/2 cups of powdered sugar, scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl as needed to thoroughly incorporate all ingredients.  Continue to whip for 1-2 minutes until frosting is lighter in color.

Assembly

Once cookies are completely cooled, pipe (or spread, but piping looks prettier!) a generous teaspoon of raspberry frosting onto the bottom side cookie.  Place another cookie on top and gently press down until frosting reaches the edges of the cookie.  Refrigerate for about 30 minutes to allow the frosting to set.  Enjoy!

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