I call these “gift cookies.” Pack them inside a decorative jar for a perfect hostess gift.
In a food processor, using the metal blade, pulse together flour, margarine and confectioner’s sugar until you get a crumbly mixture. Add the lemon rind, egg yolk and vanilla extract and combine just until the dough forms, no longer.
Roll out the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Use a flowershaped cookie cutter to cut out flower shapes. Transfer the flowers to a lined cookie sheet, leaving a bit of space between each cookie. Use a small cookie cutter to cut out a small ring in the center of half of the cookies.
Bake in a preheated oven at 320 degrees Fahrenheit (160 degrees Celsius) for 15–20 minutes, until the cookies are firm and slightly golden. Remove and allow to cool.
To assemble the cookies, first sprinkle confectioner’s sugar on the cookies with the hole in the center. Heat the jam for a few seconds in the microwave and transfer into an icing bag with a smooth .03-inch (one-centimeter) opening. Squeeze out a small mound of jam into the center of the uncut cookies. Cover each jammed flower with a “holey” flower. Press together slightly until the jam fills the hole and you have sandwich flower cookies.
When preparing cookies in the mixer, first cream together the margarine and sugar, then add the eggs. When you have a smooth, even batter, add the dry ingredients. When using a food processor, though, the order is reversed. First put in the flour, margarine and sugar, and blend them with short pulses into a crumbly mixture. Then add eggs and liquids. Continue to pulse just until you have a chunk of dough and not longer. If you do pulse for longer, the margarine will melt from the heat of the blade and absorb more flour, making the dough sticky and not fluffy enough.
These cookies freeze well for a long time, even up to two months, but if you’re planning to freeze don’t put on the confectioners’ sugar until after.
Instead of strawberry jam you can use halvah, chocolate cream or nougat cream. For dairy cookies, replace margarine with butter and fill each cookie with caramel (delicious!).