“If someone makes these for you, they must really love you,” my husband said. He is right, one doesn’t bake this cookie for just any and everyone. It is a labor of love. Individually filled and folded, this recipe yields over a hundred cookies.
My grandmother and mother were the types of people that showed you they loved you instead of saying it out loud. As I’ve gotten older I have come to realize that it takes all kinds of people in this world showing love however they see fit to make life wonderful. Know that if you ever receive this cookie it’s probably a special love letter to you, because this recipes takes time and patience to make just right.
Yields Approximately 168 Cookies
For proofing the Active Dry Yeast, combine the below ingredients and allow to rest for 10 minutes
1 Packet Active Dry Yeast
1/8 Cup Water temperature between 100 and 110 degrees Fahrenheit (follow instructions for temperature on package)
1/4 Teaspoon Sugar
Remaining Dough Ingredients
5 1/2 Cups Sifted All Purpose Flour (1/2 cup of All Purpose Flour for rolling reserved to the side)
1/2# Cold Vegetable Shortening
1/2# Cold Butter Diced
3 Egg Yolks
1 Cup Sour Cream
12-15oz Apricot, Cherry, Raspberry or Plum (Thick Fruit Preserves or Fruit Pastry Filling )
2 Cups of Granulated Sugar (for rolling out the dough)
1/2 Cup of Powdered Sugar (for dusting the cookings after baking)
Proof the active dry yeast as stated above, allow to rest for 10 minutes. while preparing the flour, shortening and butter.
Combine the sifted flour, cold shortening and cold butter using a pastry cutter (as if preparing pie or biscuit dough). Add the yeast mixture, eggs and sour cream. Mix in the bowl until the ingredients begin to come together. Turn the loose dough onto a large cutting board and knead until it forms a ball that holds together. Cut the ball into 4 even pieces, roll each piece into a ball and individually wrap each ball in plastic cling wrap. Note, you may at this time begin to shape the balls into more of a rectangle, so they cool that way wrapped. Refrigerate for at least one hour, for this recipe I refrigerated for between 4 & 5 hours.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Generously dust the cutting board, using between 1/4 and 1/2 cups of granulated sugar in preparation for rolling out the dough. Make sure the sugar is under the dough as it rolls out. Place 1 dough ball on the cutting board and shape it into a rectangle before beginning to roll it out. Flour (using the reserved 1/2 cup) the rolling pin and top of the dough ball lightly so they don’t stick together. Roll the dough out to 1/8″ thickness or less and to a 9″ x 10.5″ rectangle. Trim the edges to make a perfect rectangle. Once the dough has sugar on one side it doesn’t marry well back to the dough ball, the scraps can be discarded, but there will be very little. Using a pizza cutter or knife, cut 1.5″ squares for approximately 42 cookies. Transfer the squares onto an un-greased cookie sheet pan. Note, at this point if no or very little sugar is on the bottom dust the bottom with granulated sugar from the board. Note, fill and pinch the cookies on the cookie sheet. Once on the cookie sheet, fill with a 1/4 teaspoon fruit filling. Bring up the 2 opposite corners of the dough square together and pinch closed then roll the pinched end down toward the cookie to further seal the ends. Make sure that no fruit filling is between the two ends or it may open during baking. Closed/pinched cookies should be 1/2″ to 3/4″ apart on the sheet pan, 42 cookies per pan.
Note: cookie sheet sheet pan dimensions 13″x18″.
Bake the cookies for 18 to 20 minutes. When done, they will be baked throughout with golden brown tops and bottoms. Cool partially on the cookie sheet pan, transfer to a wire cooling rack to cool completely. Dust with powdered sugar before serving.