Martha's Grapefruit Sandwich Cookies-Famous Fridays

Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Baseball, hot dogs, apple pie and...Martha Stewart-Yup, that's right folks. This week's Famous Fridays honoree is a true American classic herself, a name long synonymous with American cooking and entertaining, so I thought a post-Thanksgiving tribute would be kind of fitting. And whatever your thoughts are on her as a person (I'm not gonna get into her legal troubles here) you can't deny that her recipes are great and interesting, like these Grapefruit Sandwich cookies. They're a wonderful twist on the ordinary cream filled cookie!

Martha's Grapefruit Sandwich Cookies

When I decided to dedicate a Famous Fridays to Martha, I had a really hard time picking out a recipe. After all, with 77 cookbooks to date, the ongoing Martha Stewart Living Magazine and two long running TV shows to boot, there are 1000's, maybe even millions of recipes to choose from! From the get-go I knew that I wanted to try something new--something I hadn't make before, so I pored over several of her cookbooks, checked out magazine recipes that I'd clipped long ago and researched online. And then I did what any sane thoughtful person would do--I flipped a coin! No, seriously, these cookies caught my eye and since I've never baked anything with grapefruit before, the cookies made the cut. 

And I'm so glad they did. I've never really tasted anything quite like them and they were a huge hit in my house and to the friends we gave them to. And a nice change of pace from all the traditional Thanksgiving flavors we've been subjected to (I mean, enjoying) for the past few weeks! You start by mixing grapefruit zest with sugar and letting it sit for a while so that the tangy grapefruit flavor infuses the sugar.

Then you make a simple batter and chill the dough for about an hour. Next you roll out the dough and cut out rounds--

Then, while the cookies bake, it's just a simple matter of making the cream filling which is just made of butter, confectioners' sugar, honey and grapefruit juice. As soon as the cookies are cooled you just fill them and sandwich them together-it's really easy and no one will tell if you keep stealing little gobs of frosting!

The cookies are light with a subtle hint of grapefruit flavor and a chewy sort of texture and the cream filling is creamy (of course!) sweet and sort of tangy as well--these cookies are everything I'd hoped they would be. A little bit of summer in winter and as Martha would say, "It's a good thing!". Try these when you get a chance and enjoy their unique flavor. And have a great holiday weekend!!

Martha's Grapefruit Sandwich Cookies-Famous Fridays

Makes about 15-16 cookies
Prep Time:  20 minutes plus 1 hour of chilling;  Bake Time:  16-20 minutes plus time to let cookies cool and frost them


For the cookies:

  • 1 ruby red grapefruit, first grate zest and then squeeze to get 1/4 cup juice, strained
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 3/4 cup cake flour (not self-rising)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 2 large egg yolks

For the filling:

  • 1 stick unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 3 tablespoons grapefruit juice

The Recipe

1.  In a small bowl, mix the grapefruit zest with 1 tablespoon of the sugar. Set aside. Whisk together both flours, baking powder and the salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.

2.  Using an electric mixer, beat the butter with the remaining sugar on medium-high until light and fluffy for about 2 minutes. Scrape down the bowl as needed. Add the yolks and beat well, scraping down the bowl again. Best in the zest/sugar mixture. Add the flour mixture in two batches, alternating with the grapefruit juice and beat well.

3.  Place the dough onto a piece of plastic wrap and flatten into an disk about 1 inch think. Wrap and chill for at least 1 hour until firm enough to roll out.

4.  Preheat oven to 350ºF and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.

5.  On a board or other flat work surface, sprinkle some flour and using a floured rolling pin roll out the dough to about 1/8 inch thick. Using a 2 inch round cookie cutter cut out rounds and carefully transfer to prepared baking sheets, spacing them about 1 inch apart. Gather dough together and reroll to cut out rest of cookies if necessary. 

6.  Bake sheets for about 15 minutes, rotating from back to front and top to bottom once, till edges are golden. Check early. Let cool on rack on sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer cookies to rack to finish cooling completely.

7.  To Make Filling:  Using electric mixer, beat butter, confectioners' sugar for about 4 minutes till light and fluffy, scraping down sides as needed.  Beat in honey. Then add juice, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the filling holds together and is smooth and creamy, beating for about 2 more minutes.

8.  Spread filling on one cookie and top with another to make a sandwich. Once filled, cookies keep about 3 days refrigerated (we never got that far!).

9.  The original recipe says that you can bake the cookies and make the filling one day ahead, kept covered in the fridge. If so, make sure to bring it to room temperature before spreading.


Note:  Recipe from Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook







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