Finnish Ribbon Cookies

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Last night for FHE we had our annual Finnish ribbon cookie making. I'm half Finnish and after having children decided that it would be neat to celebrate that heritage by making these traditional Finnish holiday cookies with my family every Christmas. It is an absolutely delicious shortbread like cookie with jam and a sugar glaze. Mmmm.... We've heard that this is Santa and Mrs. Claus' favorite cookie.:)

Finnish Ribbon Cookies

1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
2 1/2 cups flour (+ 1/8 cup for high altitude)
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons raspberry jam
2 cups powdered sugar mixed with 4 tablespoons hot water (enough water to give it a runny consistency)

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until creamy; beat in egg yolk, vanilla and lemon zest. In another bowl, stir together flour and salt. Gradually add flour to butter mixture, blending thoroughly. (I always do the last bit by hand, just to get all the flour worked in.)

Shape dough into ropes about 3/4" in diameter and as long as your baking sheets; place them about 2" apart on ungreased baking sheets. With the side of your little finger, press a long groove down the center of each rope (don't press all the way down to baking sheets - the cookies will fall apart). Bake the cookies in a 375 degree oven for 10 minutes.

Remove cookies from oven and spoon jam into the grooves. Return to oven for 5-7 minutes or until cookies are firm to touch and a very light golden brown on edges. While cookies are hot, drizzle them with powdered sugar mixture. Then with a very sharp paring knife cut the cookies at a 45 degree angle into 1" lengths. Let cool briefly on baking sheets, then transfer to racks and let cool completely. Store airtight.
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