- Course: Dessert
- Skill Level: Moderate
- Cost: Inexpensive
- Favorited: 16 Times
Can be made ahead of time.
Lemon zest packs a real punch when you want to add lemon flavor. These cookies and their filling get their powerful lemon flavor from the zest. Grate the lemon zest for the cookies and for the filling at the same time and keep it tightly covered until ready to use. A round cookie cutter with scalloped edges is a nice shape for these cookies but heart, tree, or star cutters are also good choices.
Sift the flour, salt, ginger, and cinnamon into a medium bowl and set aside. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed beat the butter and powdered sugar until smooth and slightly lightened in color, about 1 minute. Stop the mixer and scrape the sides of the bowl as needed during mixing. On low speed mix in the lemon zest, vanilla and ground almonds. Mix in the flour mixture just until the flour is incorporated and the dough holds together and comes away from the sides of the bowl.
Divide the dough in half and form into two 6-inch disks. Wrap each one in plastic wrap and refrigerate the dough until it is cold and firm enough to roll about 40 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 325° F Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Unwrap one piece of dough. Lightly flour the rolling surface and rolling pin. Roll the dough into a rectangle about 12 by 8 inches and ¼ inch thick. Slide a thin metal spatula under the dough to loosen it from the rolling surface. Use a round cookie cutter with scalloped edges to cut out 3¼- to 3½-inch circles (or any shape you like) from the dough. Set the dough scraps aside. Use a metal spatula to place the circles 1 inch apart on one of the prepared baking sheets. (The cookies do not spread much.) Repeat the rolling and cutting process with the second piece of dough. Gather together all of the dough scraps forming a smooth disk. Repeat the rolling and cutting process. You should have 18 cookies. Cut a 1-inch circle (or other shape) from the center of half of the cookies and remove these circles from the cookies. (The wide end of a pastry tube works well for cutting the circles.) The dough "holes" can be baked along with the cookies for snacks.
Bake the cookies one sheet at a time until the edges are light brown and the tops firm, about 20 minutes. Cool the cookies for 5 minutes on the baking sheets, then use a wide metal spatula to transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.
In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter, powdered sugar, lemon zest, and lemon juice until smooth.
Turn the cookies without the holes bottom side up. Leaving a 1/8-inch plain edge, spread about 2 tablespoons of filling over each one. Place the bottoms of the cookies with the holes on top of the filling.
The cookie sandwiches can be wrapped individually in plastic wrap and stored in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Bring to room temperature to serve.
Nutritional information is based on a serving size of 1 cookie sandwich.