When I discovered that the German name for these cookies, which I grew up with, translated as “Little Rascals,” it made me love them even more. Not that their proper name, Spitzbuben, didn’t also sound comical to my American ears, but Little Rascals was irresistible. Happily, the cookie is as irresistible as its name. Essentially jam-filled sandwich cookies, these are made with walnuts and very little flavoring: a pinch of cinnamon, if you’d like; a scrape of lemon zest, if that’s your fancy. Mostly the flavor is butter, sugar and nuts. The texture is best described as crumbly and a little gritty (in the best way). Half the cookies, which are always made small and o en made for Christmas, are baked whole and the other half are given peek- a-boo cutouts. When the cookies are cool, they’re sandwiched with a tiny bit of jam that pushes up alluringly through the cutout.
When I was making these, I fought my instinct to use almond meal instead of crushed walnuts – the idea of a delicate almond cookie sandwiched with jam sounded better to me than walnuts. Somehow, while I like walnuts in things like banana bread, I am not so much a fan when the flavour is quite pronounced. I found the flavour to be a but too walnutty for my liking (and a little bit bitter? Not sure that’s the right adjective but I can’t think of anything better!). The dough was a but tricky to work with – very soft and sticky even after a couple of hours in the freezer so if you make these, don’t be in a rush.
I DO love the look of these with my cute cookie cutters though (bought in France on a whim!). So I might try these with almond meal next!
Get the recipe for Dorie Greenspan’s Little Rascals on page 242 of Dorie’s Cookies or here.
Want more cookie recipes? Buy Dorie’s Cookies on Amazon (this link should bring you to the Amazon store geographically closest to you) or for free worldwide shipping, buy from The Book Depository. Then join us over on Tuesdays with Dorie and bake your way through the book!
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Disclosure: I was provided with a copy of “Dorie’s Cookies” for review purposes. I was not asked to write about the book, nor am I being compensated for doing so. All opinions 100% my own.
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