Sables, or Shortbread Cookies with Jam, are a delicious cookie sandwich usually topped with powdered sugar and filled with some type of jam. These shortbread cookies are delicious in all contexts, whether it’s to taste the culture of Algeria or simply to impress at your next Christmas party.
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When I knew I was going to bake this recipe, I wanted to make sure that my cookies looked beautiful for the photographs that you all were going to see! So I took a trip to Kroger’s “baking needs” section in search of some elegant floral cookie cutters.
I looked high and low, but couldn’t find a single cookie cutter in the whole store. After searching for a few minutes, I asked a nearby manager for help. He informed me that cookie cutters are a seasonal item and therefore wouldn’t be out on the shelves until about Halloween.
What is a Good Replacement for a Cookie Cutter?
Finally, my mother, the savior of every problem I’ve had with The Foreign Fork, found the perfect object.
We had a glass in my home with a mouth the perfect size for this cookie! I rolled out the dough and used the glass to cut out circles of the perfect size and shape.
If you don’t have a glass the correct size, you can also use a can! Cans come in all shapes and sizes, and when you open them up, the mouths tend to be sharp. This is perfect for cutting through cookie dough, and making the perfect shapes for these Shortbread Cookies with Jam.
What Ingredients are In this Recipe for Shortbread Cookies with Jam
All purpose flour
Raspberry jam (or preserve of your choice)
How to Make this Recipe for Shortbread Cookies with Jam
Preheat oven to 350°F
Cream together the butter and the sugar until light and fluffy.
Beat in the egg & vanilla. Then use a wooden spoon to mix in the flour and baking powder.
The dough will turn out looking like dry sand at first. Use your hands to knead the dough until it sticks together in one brick.
Flour a slick surface and use a rolling pin to roll out the dough. Use two different cookie cutters to cut out the top and bottom cookies from the dough. On the “tops”, use another cookie cutter to cut out a center shape so that you can see the jam through the dough.
Line a baking tray with aluminum foil and bake the cookies for about 14 minutes. I liked mine to be just turning yellow on the bottom.
Remove the cookies from the tray. As the tops cool, put powdered sugar in a sifter and sprinkle sugar over the tops of the cookies.
Put the jam in a pot on the stove and heat until it just begins to boil.
Once the jam has begun to cool, spread an equal amount on each cookie “bottom”. Place the “top” over the jam, and allow to cook completely before enjoying.
Are Butter Cookies the Same as Shortbread?
Butter cookies and shortbread cookies are very similar, but they’re not completely the same. Butter cookies have a higher ratio of sugar to butter, meaning that they are easily shaped by cookie cutters!
Shortbread cookies tend to be a bit crumblier and are a bit harder to hold together when shaping. If you’re dough crumbles, you may not have rolled/kneaded it out enough!
Shortbread cookies should also be baked on a low setting in the oven, taking care to maintain their beautiful white color until the end.
I learned this helpful information from muddysbakeshop.com at this helpful blog post!
Do You Put Jam on Cookies Before or After Cooking?
When putting your jam on the Shortbread Cookies, it’s important that you don’t add the jam until the cookie is out of the oven and cooled a bit.
Adding the jam to the cookie BEFORE baking will cause the jam to melt, and suddenly, you’ll have a big mess on your hands!
The jam in this recipe is heated up, however, before adding it to the cookies. The reason for this is so that the jam is easily spreadable and doesn’t stick to your cookie in one large clump.
If you’re heating up your jam before putting it on your cookie (you should), make sure that you heat it up so that the jam is spreadable. Make sure, though, to not allow the jam to burn! Also don’t let it become so liquidy that the jam slides all over the place when you put the cookie “top” in place.
Can I Use Jelly Instead of Jam?
This is a good question, and first, I think it’s important to establish the difference between jelly and jam.
Jelly is made without any “lumps” or “chunks”. When making jelly, only pure fruit juice is used, which means that the jelly is doesn’t have any fruit chunks in it. It has a more solid texture than its jam counterpart.
Jam, on the other hand, has pieces of crushed fruit mixed in. The crushed fruit loosens up the texture a bit, so the jam tends to be a little more easily spreadable.
So, if you want to substitute one for the other, you can! Just make sure to heat up your jelly enough that it can be spread onto the cookie easily! Also expect a slightly different texture in this variation.
Why Is My Dough Crumbly?
I had the same worry. The day I made these Shortbread Cookies with Jam for the first time, I almost gave up on them. The dough was so crumbly, I wasn’t sure it was ever going to turn into cookie dough!
Turns out, this is exactly how the dough is supposed to be. Sable (the Algerian name for these cookies) means “sand” in French. Initially, this dough appears so crumbly that it looks like dry sand! As you knead it, it comes together to look more like wet sand and easily forms into a dough.
These cookies are a great way to taste the flavors of Algeria! However, they would also be great just to share at a party or a Christmas cookie exchange. And the best part is that if you decide to make them as Christmas cookies, you’ll be able to find a seasonal cookie cutter to make them even more beautiful.
Did you like this recipe for Shortbread Cookies with Jam (Sables) from Algeria? If so, leave a comment on this post letting me know what you thought! You can also post a photo on Facebook or Instagram with the hashtag #TheForeignFork or tag @TheForeignFork.
If you liked this recipe, make sure to also check out these other recipes on The Foreign Fork that I picked out just for you!:
- Benne Wafers
- Fast and Easy Maple Cookies
- Coconut Cookies from Bolivia
- Maamoul Cookies with Dates
- Tahini Cookies from Armenia
Algerian Sable Cookies (Shortbread Cookies with Raspberry Jam)
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup raspberry jam or preserve of your choice
- 1/2-3/4 cup powdered sugar
- Preheat oven to 350°F
- Cream together the butter and the sugar until light and fluffy.
- Beat in the egg & vanilla. Then use a wooden spoon to mix in the flour and baking powder.
- The dough will turn out looking like dry sand at first. Use your hands to knead the dough until it sticks together in one brick.
- Flour a slick surface and use a rolling pin to roll out the dough. Use two different cookie cutters to cut out the top and bottom cookies from the dough. On the “tops”, use another cookie cutter to cut out a center shape so that you can see the jam through the dough.
- Line a baking tray with aluminum foil and bake the cookies for about 14 minutes. I liked mine to be just turning yellow on the bottom.
- Remove the cookies from the tray. As the tops cool, put powdered sugar in a sifter and sprinkle sugar over the tops of the cookies.
- Put the jam in a pot on the stove and heat until it just begins to boil.
- Once the jam has begun to cool, spread an equal amount on each cookie “bottom”. Place the “top” over the jam, and allow to cook completely before enjoying.