Not all cookies are created equally. In fact, these cookie squares are part crumbly shortbread and part chewy jam-filled thumbprints. But, I’d have to admit that the best part is that you can make them with any filling—your favorite jam or preserves, or even salted dulce de leche, lemon curd or my dairy-free knockoff nutella. I like to make the cookies year-round, swapping in different flavors for each season. My kids like them any way they come out of the oven.
If you’re wondering why I’ve added a bit of baking soda to the recipe, it’s there to give the cookies their golden-brown color. This is especially helpful in butter-free, gluten-free baked goods. If you have any leftover cookies, just store them in an airtight container between sheets of parchment paper or wax paper.
Please come say “hi” and let me know what you think about this recipe over in my online community, Silvana’s Kitchen. Thanks, as always, for reading and sharing!
For ingredient substitutions, please see the detailed chart at Gluten-Free 101.
1½sticks (6 ounces) cold unsalted butter or cold organic non-hydrogenated shortening, cut into pieces
1teaspoonpure vanilla extract
¾cupstrawberry or blueberry preserves
Preheat the oven to 350º. Line a 9-inch square baking pan with a 12-inch-long sheet of foil. Using a food processor, mix the flour, almonds, sugar, baking soda and salt until the nuts are finely ground. Add the butter and pulse until coarse crumbs form. Beat together the egg and vanilla and drizzle over the dough mixture. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and knead with your fingertips until clumpy.
Transfer two-thirds of the dough to the pan and press into the bottom to form an even layer. Spread the preserves on top. Dot the top with the remaining dough in clumps.
Bake until the edges are lightly golden, 35 to 40 minutes. Let cool completely; cut into squares.