By: Hannah Lee Leidy

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Makes about 18 (3-inch) cookies


  • ½ cup unsalted butter at room temperature
  • ½ cup plus 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 3 large eggs at room temperature and separated
  • 1 scant cup (4 ounces) flour, plus more for rolling dough
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ⅓ cup powdered sugar
  • ½-¾ cup fruit jam (such as strawberry, blueberry, or fig), or lemon curd
  1. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until light and creamy, about 1 minute. Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, salt, and nutmeg. Add flour mixture to butter mixture, beating on low speed until just combined, about 30 seconds.
  3. Turn dough out onto a sheet of plastic wrap and wrap tightly. Place in refrigerator to chill until firm, at least 2 hours.
  4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and position a rack in center. Scatter a couple tablespoons flour on a clean surface and turn out chilled dough. Generously flour a rolling pin and roll dough out to ¼-inch thickness.
  5. Using a 2½-inch cookie cutter, cut rounds and place on ungreased baking pans about 2 inches apart. Bake until cookies are lightly browned around the edges, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer cookies to a rack to cool and repeat with remaining dough.
  6. Once all dough is baked, increase oven temperature to 400 degrees. Line two baking pans with foil and set aside.
  7. In a large mixing bowl, beat egg whites on high speed until soft peaks form, about 2 minutes. With mixer on high, add powdered sugar a little at a time and beat until stiff and glossy peaks form, about 1 minute more. Set aside.
  8. Arrange cooled cookies on baking pans. Dollop about 1 teaspoon of jam in the center of each cookie, followed by about 2 heaping tablespoons of meringue on top. Using a small metal spatula, spread meringue to edges of each cookie (to seal meringue to the cookie so it doesn’t shrink while cooling).
  9. Bake the cookies, one pan at a time, until meringues are lightly browned, about 7 to 8 minutes. Using a spatula, carefully transfer warm cookies to a rack to cool. The cookies are best when served immediately, but they’ll keep at room temperature for 2 days.
  • Adapted from American Cookie by Anne Byrn. Reprinted with permission from Rodale/Penguin Random House, 2018.

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