|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Servings: 12 to 16|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 14g||18%|
|Saturated Fat 5g||27%|
|Total Carbohydrate 49g||18%|
|Dietary Fiber 1g||4%|
|Total Sugars 21g|
|Vitamin C 2mg||9%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|
Bulgarian jam-filled cookies known as maslenki are popular for Christmas. These jam-filled cookies go well with Turkish delight sweets.
Many cultures and traditions make jam or jelly cookies for Christmas that looks like this—think kolache or linzer cookies, for example. Even jam-filled thumbprint cookies are a simplified version of a cookie like this. The process involves rolling out dough, cutting them into circles, and then cutting out smaller holes in half the dough. Sweet and buttery, these jam-filled cookies are a treat to make and eat. Raspberry and apricot are traditional, along with rosehip or plum jam.
They are traditionally made with lard, but unsalted butter will also work.
"These delicious cookies were easy to make and roll out. I finished them with a dusting of confectioners' sugar and a dab of apricot jam. The maslenki could easily be made ahead, frozen, then dusted and filled just before serving." —Diana Rattray
3 large eggs
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cup melted lard, or unsalted butter, cooled to room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
4 cups (510 grams) all-purpose flour, more for rolling
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 (12-ounce) jar tart jam, such as rose hip, plum, raspberry, or apricot
Confectioners' sugar, for garnish
Steps to Make It
Gather the ingredients.
Position a rack in the upper and lower third of the oven and heat to 350 F.
With an electric mixer, beat the eggs and sugar in a large bowl until light and foamy, about 5 minutes. Alternatively, use a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.
Slowly add the cooled lard to the egg-sugar mixture, whisking continuously. Whisk in the vanilla until combined.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and baking powder. Slowly add it to the egg mixture to create a firm dough.
Separate the dough into thirds. On a parchment-lined cookie sheet, roll out one portion of the dough to 1/8-inch thick, flouring the surface of the dough lightly to prevent sticking. Cut with a 2 to 2 1/2-inch round cutter.
Cut out a small hole in the center of half of the cookies. Remove the center scraps, and the scraps between the cookies.
Bake until the edges are golden, 7 to 8 minutes. Remove from oven and cool completely.
Repeat with the remaining portions of dough. Re-roll scraps to cut more cookies.
Sprinkle the cookies with holes with confectioners' sugar. Spread cookies without holes with jam of choice. Press together jam-filled cookie with holed-out cookies to form a sandwich. Serve and enjoy!
They spread very little even when made with butter, so there's no need to leave more than 1/2-inch between the cookies.
You can cut any kind of shape into the top cookie that you like. Circles are easy and pretty, but it's not uncommon to use small star cutters or other specialty or festive cookie designs.
How to Store and Freeze Bulgarian Maslenki
- These cookies will keep for up to 5 days or so in an airtight container at room temperature.
- To freeze the unfilled cookies, place them in an airtight container or freezer bag and freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost at room temperature. Dust with confectioners' sugar and fill them just before serving.
- You can also freeze the filled cookies in a single layer in an airtight container for 3 months.
- If you are planning on freezing some filled cookies, set them aside and leave them undusted. Wait to dust them with confectioners' sugar until they're defrosted at room temperature and you're about to serve. Otherwise, the cookies will just absorb the sugar.