for 45 pieces
- For the Dough
- 13 tablespoons
butter (at room temperature)
- 0.333 cup
- 1 teaspoon
pure vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon
- ¼ teaspoon
- 2 tablespoons
- 3 cups
- For Filling
- ¾ cup
In a large bowl, cream butter, sugar, vanilla and salt together until creamy; add egg yolk, nutmeg and brandy, mixing to blend. Gradually add in flour and quick knead to form a smooth ball of dough.
Divide dough into two equal portions. Place each dough portion between two pieces of parchment paper and roll each portion into a flat disc. Chill dough in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
Position oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat oven to 350º F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
Roll out dough portions between two pieces of parchment paper or waxed paper to a thickness of 1/8-inch. Cut out various shapes using cookie cutters and place on prepared cookie sheet. Bake for 10 to 14 minutes. Allow to cool for 5 minutes on the cookie sheet; transfer to wire racks to cool completely.
In a small saucepan, bring jam to a quick boil. Remove from heat and strain through a wire sieve and allow to cool slightly. Spread a small amount of jam on each cookie half and sandwich the two halves together.
Combine the confectioners' sugar and lemon juice, one tablespoon at a time, until you reach the proper consistency. Divide icing into two portions. Place a few drops of blue food coloring in the larger portion. Brush cookies with blue icing and allow to set and dry. Spoon the white icing into a pastry bag and continue decorating. Sprinkle with decorative sugar and sugar pearls. Serve.
Yield will vary depending on size of shapes.