Sundays are made for the Great British Baking Show. It's the next best thing to watching CBS Sunday morning on Sunday morning. Just a quiet, sweet, relaxing show about baking! There's nothing I love more. But I don't just watch it as an avid baker in awe of the decorating talents of home bakers from across the pond. I watch as a television producer who finds the style of British television interesting and inspirational. Unlike American reality shows, which use dramatic music, close up shots, cut throat behavior and crass attitudes as a means to tell a story. The British version is calm, friendly and downright humane. There's no bad blood between competitors, no nasty exchange of words or sabotage. Instead the competitors actually help each other, and wish each other well. What? It's so dignified and doesn't induce an anxiety attack as I watch. It's also introduced me to a world of baked goods I've never attempted before. These Viennese whirls are delicate, light yet really rich. It's like the best butter cookie...ever.
I didn't want to chance it with this recipe, and got it straight from the horse's mouth...so to speak... the recipe is from none other than Mary Berry. It's a fairly simple recipe but you definitely need to have the butter very, very soft. It helps when you're piping out the dough. If the butter isn't soft enough you'll be straining just to get the dough through your piping bag! Trust me, my arms were sore from this. Who knew piping cookies could be such a work out?
These cookies get piped into a swirled circle. They are baked cooled, and filled with raspberry jam and buttercream. The original recipe called for making your own raspberry jam, but at this time of year, I can use all the help I can get and I got myself a jar of Bonne Maman raspberry jam. A little jam will go a long with with these cookies especially since you're putting buttercream on top of it, plus you don't want it oozing all over the place. Unless you do, to which I lay no judgement whatsoever. Jam is delicious! Sandwiched together these cookies are a rich treat. Or if you prefer, eat the cookies by themselves for a lighter cookie with tea. These cookies are super delicate and truly melt in your mouth! I hope you can try making these this holiday season!
*Adapted from Mary Berry's recipe
Makes 12 sandwich cookies
For the cookie:
1 cup very soft unsalted butter
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 cup all- purpose flour
2 tbsp corn starch
For the filling
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 cup icing sugar, plus extra for dusting
½ tsp vanilla extract
1 cup Raspberry Jam (I used Bonne Maman Jam)
- Preheat the oven to 350F Line 3 baking sheets with non-stick baking parchment and using a 2 inch round cutter as a guide, draw 8 circles on each sheet of paper, spaced well apart. Turn the paper over so the pencil marks are underneath.
- Measure the butter and icing sugar into a bowl and beat well until pale and fluffy. sift in the flour and corn starch and beat well, until thoroughly mixed and smooth.
- Fill a piping bag with the cookie dough, fitted with a medium star nozzle. Pipe 24 swirled rounds inside the circles on the baking sheets.
- Bake in the centre of the oven for 13-15 minutes, until a pale golden-brown colour. Cool on the baking tray for 5 minutes then transfer to a cooling rack to cool and harden.
- For the filling, measure the butter into a bowl and sift the powdered sugar on top. Add the vanilla extract and beat with a wooden spoon or in a stand mixer until very fluffy and smooth. Spoon into a piping bag fitted with a large star nozzle.
- Spread a little jam onto the flat side of half of the cookies and place jam-side up on a cooling rack. Pipe the buttercream over the jam and sandwich with the remaining biscuits. Top with a dusting of powdered sugar.