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Strawberry-rhubarb stained-glass cookies

Time3 hours
YieldsMakes about 20 cookies
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Rhubarb partners with strawberries in a jam that will fool the most vegetable-hating kid. As rhubarb cooks, it loses color, but the strawberries keep things bright. Spreading the jam between two cookies (one with a hole cut from the middle) creates a sort of stained-glass look. The cookies themselves have a touch of cardamom, a spice so right with ground almonds.

Make the jam ahead so it can chill. The cookies can be stored airtight for several days in the refrigerator.

From the story: Sticking up for rhubarb (it’s time)

Jam

1

Combine the rhubarb, strawberries and sugar in a small saucepan over low heat until the fruit softens and breaks down, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. Stir the cornstarch and water together in a small bowl. Add to the fruit and continue cooking on low heat, stirring often, until the fruit thickens, about 5 more minutes. Cool completely and store covered in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It will stay fresh up to a week.

Cookies

1

Beat the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the egg and vanilla; beat until smooth.

2

Sift the flour and salt together then stir in the cardamom. Add the flour to the butter mixture on low speed just until combined. Stir in the almonds.

3

Divide the dough into 4 pieces and flatten into rectangles. Wrap each in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour.

4

Heat the oven to 375 degrees; grease 2 baking sheets. Remove 1 rectangle of dough at a time.

5

Roll out the dough on a very lightly floured work surface to 1/8-inch thick. Using a 2 1/2-inch fluted cookie cutter, cut out as many cookies as you can. Then, using a 1-inch fluted cookie cutter, cut a hole in the center of half of the fluted cookies (these will become the tops of the sandwich cookies). Carefully place all cookies on the baking sheets.

6

Make the egg wash by stirring the beaten egg with water. Brush just the top cookies (with the hole) with the egg wash. Sprinkle the sparkling sugar over the egg-washed cookies. Bake until a pale golden brown, 10 to 11 minutes. Cool on a rack.

7

Continue with the remaining dough until all the cookies are baked and you have an equal number of tops and bottoms.

8

Place 1 teaspoon of jam in the center of each of the bottom cookies, spreading to within 1/2-inch of the edge. Place a top cookie over each and press gently.

From Mary Ellen Rae in the Times Test Kitchen.
Make Ahead:
Make the jam ahead so it can chill.

The cookies can be stored airtight for several days in the refrigerator.