Vanilice – Raspberry Filled Vanilla Cookies
This cookie…is delicious, is a labor of love, is a little Serbian sandwich cookie, and is a cookie I still cannot pronounce the name to even though my husbands grandmother has told me 100 times. Vanilice (pronounced vah-ny-ly-tseh, try saying that over and over) means ‘little vanillas’ and are small Serbian cookies traditionally made for the holidays and special occasions. My side of the family is German, and we always make little cinnamon star cookies called Zimtsterne around the holidays, so adding another difficult to pronounce cookie to the mix shouldn’t be a problem haha.
Why did I make these cookies in the first place you might ask? Well, my husband is Serbian Orthodox and the church we got married in asked me to bake 100 cookies for a fundraiser they are having and asked that I make Serbian Inspired Cookies (see some pictures below from our wedding). I of course picked these little beauties to make, not really considering the time it would take to bake all the cookies and then fill them and coat them…I think there is still powdered sugar and hiding out that didn’t get cleaned in my kitchen…but it was really worth it, the cookies are THAT good!
There are many different versions to this recipe I’m told, the one I used was from a church cookbook called ‘Bless the Food and Drink-A Collection of Recipes by Orthodox Christian Parishes – Milwaukee and Madison, WI’
You know what really helped making these cookies? My amazing KitchenAid mixer….don’t have one? Enter the KitchenAid Mixer Giveaway!!
I doubled the recipe to make all the cookies, but this recipe is for about 60 finished Vanilice sandwich cookies. A few things I’ve been told about these cookies 1) use spreadable fruit or a firm jam, otherwise the filling will be runny in your cookies 2) let your cookies ‘age’ in a cool dry airtight container, but don’t put in the fridge to do this, the cookies taste better after a few days (perfect for making ahead!)
Note: I’ve since made this recipe 3 times and each time I have used this recipe and they have come out perfectly! They are best after 3-5 days time, they just melt in your mouth!
- ¾ Cup Sugar
- 1 Stick Butter
- 1 Stick Baking Vegetable Shortening
- 2¾ Cup Flour
- 2 Egg Yolks
- 2 Packets Oetker Vanillin Sugar (found at European Grocery Stores, or specialty grocery stores)
- ½ tsp Salt
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 1 Jar - Smuckers brand Spreadable Fruit Raspberry-for filling cookies
- 1-2 cups Powdered sugar- for coating cookies in
- Beat sugar, butter and vegetable shortening with mixer until well blended. Add egg yolks, lemon zest and vanilla sugar. Beat until light and fluffy. Add flour and salt into the butter mixture, mix well. Divide into 2 parts, flatten between waxed paper, wrap and chill 1 hour or longer (I put mine in the freezer for 45 minutes and then transferred the dough I wasn't using into the refrigerator.)
- Preheat oven to 325 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Lay out a sheet of wax paper on a counter, then put half of one disk of dough on the wax paper, cover with another piece of wax paper and roll out to ¼-1/2 inch thickness. Remove top layer of wax paper and cut little 1 inch circles or scalloped edge circles out and put on prepared cookie sheet. Bake for 13 minutes (you don't want the cookies to be brown). Cool for 5 minutes, then spread a little bit of the raspberry jam onto one side of a cookie, top it with another (don't put too much filling, you don't want it coming out the sides).
- Put the powdered sugar in a heap at the bottom of a bowl, and roll the stuffed cookie sandwich in the powdered sugar, put coated cookie on cooling rack to cool completely for 15 minutes. Store in an airtight container, in a cool place, and let age 5-7 days before serving. Can be stored be stored for a few months in the freezer and then brought to room temperature before serving.