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Whether you call them jelly bars or Italian butter cookies, they’re delicious by either name.
Jelly Bars Are Easy
Yes, jelly bars are incredibly easy to make despite how they look!
Anyone can get bakery-quality results at home and less expensive too. One thing I was always a sucker for was Italian bakery cookies. I admit that I’m a virtual bottomless pit when it comes to eating them. When I lived in New York City, they were easy to get–I had my fave Italian bakeries–but they are readily available. Where I live now, not so much so I would treat myself a couple of times a year with cookies from a Brooklyn bakery I’d frequent. However, having to pay $30-$40 per pound of cookies plus shipping got too rich for my blood.
This recipe was posted in one of my food groups on Facebook/ I was so glad this member posted it because now I make these in my own kitchen.
Piping Is Easy
Please trust me when I tell you I’m generally a klutz when it comes to using a pastry bag and tips. I won’t decorate a cake since it would be a disaster waiting to happen. However, this simple exercise with the bag and tip was easy. Just lay the tip touching the parchment at a 45-degree angle and squeeze to the desired length. I found about 3-inches to be a pretty good length.
The tip I used was a large star tip. The ones that come in starter decorator sets won’t do since they’re too small. A friend who’s a cake decorator gave me one but this large star tip is the one she gave me. You can also use a large round tip of approximately the same size. The star tip will just make the fancy ridges.
Flavor The Cookies
To keep the flavor neutral to play it safe if you don’t know people’s tastes, then use vanilla.
I’m a freak for anything almond flavored so I use almond extract. Especially if I’m using raspberry jam. The almond-flavored cookie along with the hint of raspberry with a dash of the chocolate is a real taste sensation.
- 1 cup butter room temperature
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup confectioner's sugar icing sugar in UK
- 1 egg
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla or almond extract
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- pinch salt
- 2 tbs heavy cream
- 1 cup red jam
- 1 cup chocolate morsels
- 1/2 cup sprinkles
- Preheat oven to 350F/180C.
- Using a heavy-duty stand mixer, cream the butter and sugars until light and fluffy.
- Add the egg and vanilla, mixing well.
- Mix all the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add gradually to the butter mixture, mixing well.
- Add the heavy cream and mix just until incorporated. Add the dough to pastry bag. I used s very large star tip, but a plain round one about 1/2-inch/1.25-cm will do just as well.
- Line baking sheets with parchment and pipe dough about 3-inches/7.5-cm long and about 2-inches/5-cm apart.
- Bake for 14-16 minutes or until cookies are just beginning to get golden around the edges. Let the cookies cool on the sheet until firm enough to move to cooling racks.
- To fill and decorate: Melt chocolate morsels in the microwave for 45 seconds; stir until smooth. They may need 10-15 seconds more if they're not completely melted.
- Spread about 1 tablespoon of jam on flat bottom of one cookie. Top with the flat side of a plain cookie.
- Dip the tip of each sandwich cookie in the melted chocolate then dip the chocolate part in the sprinkles.
- Amount of cookies will vary with how big you want to make them. I got around 1 1/2 dozen sandwiches.