Here's my super simple, but easily customizable, Jam Sandwich Sugar Cookies. Delicious with raspberry jam & powdered sugar on top, these are easier to make & perfect for gifting anytime of the year.
Jam Sandwich Cookies
Perfect For Any Occasion
Originally published 2018, photos & platform updated in 2022.Jump to Recipe
Jelly or Jam Sandwich Sugar Cookies are a classic type of cookie in many countries. In the UK we call cookies biscuits (not to be confused with American biscuits, which people sometimes confuse with UK Scones – but I digress).
What Is A Jam Sandwich Sugar Cookie?
As the name suggests these cookies are sandwiched together. The cookie itself is made from a basic sugar cookie dough, with a very pale colour and a beautiful soft texture. I like to add just a touch of almond extract, as well as Vanilla extract, that makes this cookie something special.
Hold Their Shape
I also only use a very small amount of baking powder as we want the cookies to hold their shape well. They only puff a tiny bit on baking and with some chilling, they are great for cutting out any shape you like.
Typically the sandwich cookies are made round, and not too small. But you really can make anyway you like and customize for any occasion or theme.
The lovely soft cookie sandwiches a jam/jelly filling. Use jam, jelly, preserve, whatever you have. Or go the next step and make your own jam if you enough fruit. Here’s a link to my Plum & Orange Jam recipe.
Typically, they are made with raspberry or strawberry jam. A red jam is favoured, that is made visible by the hole in the top cookie. For us in the UK, the cookie or biscuit, looks on outer appearance, like a very popular manufactured cookie called Jammie Dodgers. But they also have a firm buttercream sandwiched with the jam. See my version of Seasonal Jammie Dodgers.
As mentioned above, the top cookie tends to have a hole cut out from the middle, making the jam visible. But you don’t need to do that. You can save some time and just cut out the cookies. Or cut out from the centre and re-roll the scraps of dough and make more cookies.
Use For Royal Iced Cookies
This sugar cookie recipe can also be used to make cookies for Royal icing decorating. For a great tutorial on Royal icing Decorating, see my friend Tanya’s site Global Bakes, and her Video For Decorating Cookies With Royal Icing. She has a few videos on Royal icing, so be sure to check her YouTube channel out & subscribe.
Customize For Any Occasion
Use any cookie cutters you have to customize these jam sandwich sugar cookies. Perfect for Christmas time with Tree, and Star cutters, here’s some pics of them themed for Valentine’s day with heart cutters. See my Shamrocks for St. Patrick’s Day. You can also just use themed small cutters for cutting out the middle of the round cookies.
See photo of the same sandwich cookie dough used for my Easter Vanilla Cookies With A Chocolate Filling below.
A Note On Keeping Their Shape
As mentioned I only use a very small amount of raising agent in these cookies, so they only spread a little. But for many cookies, the key to keeping their shape is chilling the dough.
Chilling The Dough
Chilling the dough not only helps cookies keep their shape, but gives the gluten in the flour, a chance to relax after I worked it on mixing and rolling out. Over-worked dough can lead to a tough bake.
My recipe uses baking powder, but if you want no spread, or puff at all, don’t use baking soda/bicarbonate of soda. If you want really flat then just omit the baking powder. Just note it will change the texture ever so slightly.
For these cookies, we roll the dough out after forming, and then place in the fridge for 1 hour. This also makes cutting out the cookies much easier. And when it comes to rolling out the scraps, they are not too warm & soft. I do however, divide the dough in half, so that some of the dough isn’t softening while waiting. The fridge is your friend in baking and you can’t really chill too much.
After cutting out the cookies, I like to place the baking tray/sheet & cookies in the fridge, just while the oven heats up.
Key To Soft Cookies
Whilst the ratio of ingredients in the recipe, contribute to making a soft cookie, how much you bake and how you store them also matters.
Sugar cookies and soft cookies in general, should be under-baked slightly. For sugar cookies and the likes of my Scottish Shortbread, the baked cookie/biscuit, should still be very pale and almost white. You ideally want to remove form the oven just before any colouring starts around the edges. The cookies should be formed and able to move when pushed gently.
Don’t Leave On The Baking Tray/Sheet
The cookies will continue to bake with residual heat from the baking tray/sheet, ensuring the centre is cooked. But you don’t want to over-bake as they will go hard. So only leave for about 5 minutes before transferring to the cooling rack. (Be sure to store once cooled).
Don’t Store In Food Bags
I like to store all my bakes in tins, usually cake tins. They work for most bakes and keep them fresh. The soft cookies stay soft too but not overly so. I have found that placing cookies once cooled into plastic food baggies, results in hard cookies.
I haven’t personally frozen cookies. I have been experimenting with freezing some cakes and pastries. Whilst some once defrosted are as good as just baked, some don’t taste quite as good.
What you can do easily, is prepare the cookie dough, chill the dough on the tray covered with baking/parchment paper and wrap in cling film/plastic wrap. And leave in the fridge till ready to use. This will be fine for up to 2 days. Just note that you would need to bring out and leave to soften just enough to be able to cut out the cookies.
Alternatively, you could cut out the cookies, and place on a lined tray or something similar, covered with cling film/plastic wrap and flash freeze. Once frozen, if not enough room in your freezer for the tray to stay, you could place in a deep Tupperware tub, layered, with paper in-between.
To bake the cut-out cookie, leave out at room temperature till almost completely defrosted. Then place on the baking trays/sheets with fresh paper, and bake while still a little cold, at the same temperature, but for a few minutes more.
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JAM SANDWICH SUGAR COOKIES
- Scales or measuring cups
- Measuring Spoons
- Large mixing bowl
- Cookie Cutters of your choice (see notes above)
- Baking Palette knife or butter knife
- Baking/parchment Paper (minimum 4 large pieces)
- Rolling Pin
- Baking Tray/sheet x 3
- Baking spray or butter to grease (optional)
- Timer or Phone Timer
- Cooling rack
- Small Sieve (or fine tea strainer)
- 170 grams Butter, unsalted & cubed (¾ cup, 6 oz)
- 134 grams Granulated Sugar (⅔ cup, 4¾ oz)
- 1 Egg, medium- large (Large – XL US)
- 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
- ¼ tsp Almond Extract
- 281 grams Plain Flour (2 ¼ level cups, 10 oz, All Purpose)
- ¼ tsp Baking Powder (rounded ¼ tsp)
- ¼ tsp Salt
- Jam, Jelly, Preserve, Fruit Curd or even Chocolate Spread
- Icing/Powdered Sugar (for dusting, optional)
MAKING THE BISCUIT DOUGH
- Cube & weigh out your butter & leave till softened. Cubing makes a smaller surface area, allowing it to soften faster. But if you forget, or are short on time, why not try this hack I reviewed? Go to How To Soften Butter In About 12 minutes Video. See Photo 1 below.
- Once ready, beat the butter for about 1 minute till no longer cubes. Then add in the sugar & mix for a further 2 or 3 minutes in a stand/hand-held mixer till not just well combined, but the sugar has broken down and the butter a little paler in colour. See Photo 1 above.
- Next add the egg, vanilla & almond extract to the mixture & mix on high speed until well combined. This should take seconds. See Photo 2 below. Click to read how to make home-made vanilla extract.
- Weigh or measure in the flour & spoon in the baking powder & salt. Mix on low speed to begin with, and then continue mixing until all the dry mixture is absorbed and no ‘white' flour is visible. With a plastic/rubber/silicone spatula, scrape down the side of the bowl, making sure nothing is left behind, and there are no flour patches at the bottom of the bowl. Mix again just briefly. Don’t over-mix it or the biscuit will be tough. See Photo 3 below.
- Cut out baking/parchment paper to fit your baking sheets/trays or ordinary trays (which ever will fit in your fridge). You will need at least 4 pieces.
- Place one piece of the paper on a worktop/counter, then take ½ of the dough from the bowl and form into a ball then flatten to a disc. See Photo 3 above. Place in the centre of the paper, and position a 2nd piece of baking/parchment paper on top and there will be no need to flour the rolling pin. (If your dough is a little sticky, you can add a little flour, or icing/powdered sugar, but just a little). Roll out till the dough is at least ⅞mm (height of 2x £1 + 2p coins – ⅓"). Don’t go any thinner than this at the edges). See Photo 4 below.
Chill The Dough
- Repeat with the 2nd half of the dough and put both into the fridge for 1 hour to firm up. Stack them on top of each other if you want, with the extra pieces of paper in-between them.
- Now prepare the baking trays/sheets by lightly oiling and placing 1 of the top baking/parchment papers on top. (You can re-use the baking paper). You only need do this if the baking sheet/tray don’t have a lip – I have had cookies fall off and onto the floor before!
- Take 1 tray from the fridge. Prepare your cutters by lightly dipping in a bowl of flour or icing/powdered sugar.
Cut Out The Biscuits
- Cut out as many shapes as you can from this one piece and place on one of the prepared baking trays, (with about ½cm or ⅕" space in-between). These will be the base or bottom cookies, if you are doing any with cut out middles. Roll up the scrap pieces of dough, and roll back out before placing back in the fridge to firm up. Be sure to roll between 2 sheets of paper.
- Now move on to the second tray of dough, and cut out the tops for the cookies, that will have cut out centres. If you are using shaped cutters that are not symmetrical, remember to turn the cookie cutter the other way round, so that you will have a proper pair once baked to join together, that will join up nicely. Alternatively you can turn the cut out over before baking. I found it easier to make pairs, at the cutting out stage. See Photo 5 below.
Re-roll Scrap Dough
- Remember to re-roll excess dough and chill again, while working on the rest, until all the dough is used up. Just cut out the centres with any of the small holiday cutters or even wider end of a piping nozzle, ensuring they are not too big for the size of the cookie. (See Photo 5 above). Then chill the cut-out cookies while you heat the oven. (If you want really flat cookies, with no spread, you can chill now for 1 hour).
- Heat up the oven to: 180/160c Fan Oven/350f/Gas mark 4.
Bake The Cookies
- Bake the biscuits/cookies for 8-11 minutes. Turn and rotate the trays half-way through for an even bake. The biscuits are ready when very pale coloured on top and around the edges are just about to colour. They will be quite pale like shortbread, soft and appear not done. It will however move, when you very gently push with a spatula or knife. See Photo 6. You can choose to bake just one tray at a time, and bake in the centre shelf of the oven.
Cool The Biscuits
- Let the biscuits cool for 5 minutes on the tray/sheet. Then very carefully slide the cooked biscuits onto a cooling rack with the paper, (be careful not to drop them as they will still be soft). See Photo 6 above. Leave to cool down. You can store once cooled in a tin or airtight container if not filling just now.
- Before adding the filling, it’s ideal to pair up your biscuits, so that they are all the same size/shape. Then open them back up and keep the tops next to the bottoms.
- Now take one cookie top (one that has a shape cut from the centre), and place on some baking/parchment paper. Next take a small sieve (preferably small, or a fine tea strainer works), and sieve a spoon of icing/powdered sugar over the top of the cookie, completely covering it in ‘snow’! This is optional but best done before sandwiching the cookies if there is a cut out. See Photo 8.
- Now get your jam/jelly ready. You can also use lemon curd or chocolate spread. (Here’s a link to my Plum & Orange Jam recipe). Originally I used slightly watered down jam, but found it better to use as is for these. Now spread on some jam/jelly or curd into the middle of the 'bottom biscuit', being careful not to go all the way to the edges. See Photo 9 below.
- Then gently position the 'top' cookie to its ‘bottom’ cookie and squeeze together gently, while holding the ends of the cookies (trying to avoid the sugar coating). See Photo 10 below.
- Doing one cookie at a time, means you don’t mix up the cookies that you paired earlier. For the cookies with a solid ‘top’ cookie, simply position on top of its partner and gently squeeze together. Then sieve over the icing/powdered sugar as before.
- Either serve now or store for later. Note some of the icing/powdered sugar does fade with time. You can choose to place inside cupcake or petit four paper cases depending on the size. This way you can even store on top of each other, in a tin or cupcake carry case. I like to store in cake tins.
Rate The RecipePlease also take a minute to rate this recipe once you come to the end. This option is found at the very foot of the page. Thanks so much. *Recipe Yield – approximately 18 sandwich cookies can be made, but dependending on size and shape of cutter & if cut-outs are used.
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DIFFICULTY LEVEL: Easy, beginner
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