Marmalade Windows

The dough for these cookies, tinged with the flavor of orange liqueur, is spread with orange marmalade and brushed with egg and cream so the top browns nicely as they bake.

  • Yield: Makes 2 dozen
Marmalade Windows

Source: Holiday Cookies 2001, Special Issue Holiday 2001

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon orange liqueur or cognac
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • Pinch of table salt
  • 1/2 cup orange marmalade
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Have ready a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add 2 egg yolks, and beat until well combined, 2 to 3 minutes. Beat in vanilla and liqueur. Add flour, baking powder, and salt; mix, beginning on low speed and increasing to medium, just until flour is incorporated.

  2. Turn dough out onto a clean surface; divide in half. Flatten each half into a rectangle, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate at least 1 hour.

  3. Place parchment paper on a clean surface; dust with flour. Roll one piece of dough into a 6 1/2-by-15 1/2-inch rectangle a scant 1/4 inch thick, dusting with flour to prevent sticking. Place in the freezer or refrigerator until firm, 20 to 30 minutes. Repeat rolling with the other piece.

  4. Remove one strip of dough from freezer; trim to a 6-by-15-inch rectangle. Evenly cut dough in half lengthwise. (You will now have two 3-by-15-inch rectangles.) Lightly score one of the strips of dough at 1 1/2-inch intervals crosswise. Using a paring knife, cut windows out of each 1 1/2-inch interval. On the unscored strip of dough, spread 4 tablespoons of marmalade to within 1/8 inch of the edges. Return both strips of dough to the freezer or refrigerator; chill until firm. Repeat with the remaining rectangle of dough.

  5. In a small bowl, beat together the remaining egg yolk and cream. Remove dough from the freezer, and, using 2 long, wide spatulas, carefully lift a window strip and place it on top of a marmalade spread strip. Repeat. Using a thin, narrow brush, carefully brush tops with egg wash. Bake until golden, 22 to 25 minutes, rotating once halfway through. Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool.

Cook's Notes

If the dough softens while rolling, transfer it to the freezer or refrigerator until firm. This can be done as often as necessary.

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