Simply divine! Buttery, flavorful and fragrant, these rum butter cookies, Buttered Rum Shortbread Cookies, are the embodiment of a truly melt-in-your-mouth, delicate yet crisp, shortbread cookie. Sandwiched with a dreamy, soft and creamy rum buttercream filling for the ultimate in taste sensations. You can’t stop at just one. Everyone will LOVE them!
A New Christmas Cookie Classic:
Buttered Rum Shortbread Cookies
Of all the Christmas cookies that I bake each season, this cookie, Buttered Rum Shortbread Cookies, is the most requested by my husband, along with my Honey-Nut Rugelach and my grandmother’s Snowball Christmas Cookies (also known as Russian Teacakes). He also loves my rendition of her jam thumbprint cookies, Grandma’s Perfect Jam Thumbprint Cookies. It just isn’t Christmas without these cookies!
Quite simply, The Big Lug has impeccable taste and is the ultimate cookie connoisseur. Because he is incredibly handsome, and undoubtedly the best husband in the entire universe, I just melt and am only happy to whip up his favorite holiday cookies. Because he knows all that goes into each batch, he appreciates each nibble immensely. He even insists on lending a hand after all my messy cookie baking business by doing the dishes and cleanup! I am one lucky girl.
Now, back to these cookies and how they came to be.
For my younger readers, it is important to know that before there was Dorie (Greenspan), there was Rose and Nancy (Baggett). And before Rose and Nancy, there was Maida (Heatter). I feel so blessed to have learned so much from these ladies and their award-winning baking cookbooks. Each cookbook is packed, from cover to cover, with only the very best recipes. No filler recipes can be found. Not a single one. Ever. Just 100% pure goodness with exceptionally written recipes.
If there ever was a cookie that jumped off the page of a cookbook and made me run to the kitchen to make it, it is Rose’s recipe for Mother Bauer’s Buttered Rum Cookies. My friends, this cookie is the ultimate buttery shortbread cookie. In fact, it is beyond what you would expect in a rum butter cookie. This cookie in one word is exquisite.
As Rose explains:
“My friend Jeanne Bauer grew up in the Midwest and was blessed with a mother who baked wonderful Christmas cookies for family and friends. Although Mother Bauer had a full-time job outside the house, she spent evenings and weekends baking cookies. To this day, Jeanne has such loving memories of making Christmas cookies with her mother that never a year has gone by that she hasn’t relived the tradition in her own home.
Mother Bauer’s cookies are particular favorites of mine. They are divinely fragrant with butter, and soft and creamy yet crisp and crunchy all at the same time. This harmony is the result of a perfect marriage of rum buttercream filling and rum-flavored butter cookies. Perhaps the loveliest part of these sandwich cookies is the lingering perfumed flavor of buttered rum.”
So there you have it. A testament straight from Rose as to how special these cookies really are.
Although I realize this is a rather blasphemous statement, I would like to think that the famous French impressionist, Claude Monet, would have pushed his beloved Madeleine tea cookies aside for these Buttered Rum Shortbread Cookies to enjoy with his favorite sip. What human being wouldn’t?
Since Rose’s recipe (Mother Bauer’s) is extremely delicate (read: frustrating) to work with for young and inexperienced bakers, and the fact that many of my readers may not own a pastry cloth to roll out the dough, I have made modest changes to make the dough easier to handle without sacrificing the overall delicate crumb of this incredible butter cookie. In short, Rose’s dough is so delicate that the baked cookies are fragile to the point that they are difficult to sandwich (when gently pressing down on top of the filling) causing breakage. Therefore, I added just a touch more flour.
In addition, since I like to bake with unbleached all-purpose flour versus bleached for conventional baking, I borrowed a page out of my gluten and grain free baking and call for tapioca flour to lighten the flour overall. This is similar to how some recipes for classic butter cookies and shortbread call for cornstarch. The good news is that tapioca flour, such as Bob’s Red Mill®, is a much healthier choice and is readily available among gluten free flours in grocery stores.
As for the confectioners’ or powdered sugar called for in the recipe, I found a fabulous corn-free confectioners’ sugar by Wholesome Sweeteners. This is excellent news for those who are allergic to corn (or corn-derived ingredients), a major food allergen, because most powdered sugars contain cornstarch. It is also convenient to keep on hand when I am short on time and don’t have my own powdered sugar made from scratch, using a blender, with pure cane sugar and tapioca flour.
Finally, the other change I made for the flour mixture is that I call for almond meal/flour, such as Bob’s Red Mill®, because it is also readily found in stores whereas back when Rose’s Christmas Cookies was first published, it was not. However, you can certainly make your own almond meal with a food processor using sliced or slivered blanched almonds.
My friends, I hope that this recipe for Buttered Rum Shortbread Cookies becomes a new Christmas holiday tradition for your family. Everyone will love them!
Bon appétit and Happy Holidays!
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Buttery, flavorful and fragrant, these rum butter cookies are the embodiment of a truly melt-in-your-mouth, delicate yet crisp, shortbread cookie. Sandwiched with a soft and creamy rum buttercream filling for the ultimate in taste sensations.
For the Buttered Rum Shortbread Cookies
- 1¾ cups (210 g) unbleached all-purpose flour
- 6 tablespoons (48 g) tapioca flour (also known as tapioca starch)
- ¼ cup (28 g) homemade blanched almond flour, see Recipe Notes
- 1 cup (2 sticks or 226 g) unsalted butter, softened
- ½ cup (60 g) confectioners’ sugar
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) light rum
- ½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) pure almond extract
- ½ teaspoon (2.4 g) fine-grain sea salt
For the Rum Buttercream Filling
- 3 tablespoons (42 g) unsalted butter
- 1 cup (120 g) confectioners’ sugar, lightly spooned into cup
- 2 teaspoons (10 ml) heavy cream
- ¾ teaspoon (3.75 ml) light rum
- Prepare the Buttered Rum Shortbread Cookies: In a medium bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, tapioca flour and almond flour until well blended. Set aside.
- Using an electric stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, or handheld electric mixer, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. (Omit sugar if it is already incorporated into homemade almond flour and simply beat the butter until light and creamy.) Beat in the rum, almond extract and salt until well blended scraping the bowl with a rubber spatula when necessary. On low speed, gradually add flour mixture and mix until fully incorporated. Divide dough in half by scraping onto separate sheets of plastic wrap and flatten slightly into disks. Refrigerate the disks in plastic wrap for at least 2 hours or overnight.
- Arrange oven rack in lower third of oven and preheat to 375ºF (190ºC). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.
- Working with a separate piece of dough at a time from the refrigerator, gently knead chilled dough until pliable. Roll dough between two sheets of lightly floured plastic food wrap to 1/8-inch (.32 cm) thickness.
- With a small scalloped cookie cutter dipped in flour, cut into shapes. Using a small metal cookie spatula, transfer cutouts to prepared baking sheets spaced apart by at least 1 inch (2.5 cm). With a small pastry tube, cut out ½-inch (1.25 cm) holes in the center of half the cutouts as these cookies will serve as the top layer of the cream-filled sandwich cookies. Meanwhile, continue to roll out the remaining dough and rerolling scraps as well as chilling the dough as necessary.
- Bake in preheated oven until the cookies are just beginning to turn light golden brown in color, about 8 to 10 minutes. For even baking, rotate the cookie sheets from front to back halfway through baking time. Using a metal cookie spatula, carefully transfer cookies to wire racks to cool completely.
- Prepare the Rum Buttercream Filling: Using an electric stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, or handheld electric mixer, cream together butter and sugar until well blended. With mixer on low speed, beat in the heavy cream and rum until smooth and fully incorporated.
- Assemble the Buttered Rum Shortbread Cookies: Using a small metal icing spatula, spread a rounded ½ measuring teaspoon (2.5 ml) of the Buttered Rum Cream Filling on the underside of the whole cookie bottoms. Place the cookie tops (the cookies with the holes in the center) on top of each cookie bottom gently pressing the two cookies together. Continue in this fashion for the remaining cookies.
- Yield: Makes 36 cookies or 18 (1½ dozen) sandwich cookies measuring 2 inches (5 cm) each.
Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature or in the freezer. Cookies will keep up to 3 weeks when filled and 2 months unfilled.
If dough softens while rolling out, simply slide the dough with the wrap onto a large cookie sheet and chill in refrigerator until firm.
Only use completely cooled cookie sheets before baking each batch.
Avoid crowding the cookies on baking sheets by spacing apart at least by 1 inch (2.5 cm)
Total Time does not include chilling dough overnight or frosting and assembling sandwiched cookies.
How to Measure All-Purpose Flour for this Recipe: This tip is provided for bakers who do not own a kitchen scale and will be measuring flour by volume rather than by weight. First, aerate your flour by stirring it in the container. Then, simply use the dip and sweep method by dipping your dry measuring cup into the flour and level off the top with a straight edge of a metal icing spatula. (The straight edge of a knife from a flatware set can be used as well.) Use a sheet of wax paper as a liner on your work surface to measure flour so that the excess can easily be funneled back into flour bag or container.
How to Make Homemade Almond Flour for this Recipe: Homemade almond flour (ground blanched almonds) may also be used. You will need ⅓ cup (28 g) blanched sliced almonds. Simply process the almonds in a food processor along with the confectioners’ sugar called for in this recipe at ½ cup (60 g) until the almonds are very fine. Use immediately in recipe.
Wicked Good Kitchen highly recommends selecting organic ingredients whenever possible.
For this recipe, and all our baking recipes calling for unbleached all-purpose flour, we highly recommend the pure and Organic Unbleached All-Purpose Flour by Hodgson Mill® because it is naturally white and contains no additives. We also highly recommend organic grass-fed butter, heavy cream and confectioners’ sugar. For this recipe, we used Tapioca Flour (also known as Tapioca Starch) by Bob’s Red Mill® found in most grocery stores. Although we made our own homemade almond flour (see notes above on how to prepare it for this recipe), the Super-Fine Almond Flour by Bob’s Red Mill® can also be used. In addition, we highly recommend the Pure Almond Extract by Nielsen-Massey®. For the light rum, we used Bacardi® brand.
Recipe Adapted From: Rose’s Christmas Cookies by Rose Levy Beranbaum.
Original Recipe Source: WickedGoodKitchen.com
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