In the bowl of a stand (or hand mixer), cream the butter and sugar until smooth. Scrap the bottom and sides of the bowl to ensure all the butter is incorporated.
To the butter and sugar add the whole egg and egg yolks and whip until incorporated, then add in the lemon juice, lemon zest and sugar. Mix with the stand mixture until all ingredients are incorporated ( about 1-2 minutes).
Gradually, add in the flour. Roughly two tablespoons at a time.
Lastly, add in the grounded walnuts and mix until a dough forms.
Form a uniform and soft ball of dough with the help of your hands. Form the dough into a disk and wrap this in plastic wrap. Let set in the fridge for 20 minutes.
ROLLING AND BAKING
Preheat the oven to 180 C and line two baking trays with baking paper.
Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to a thickness of about 1/2 cm thickness.
Use a cookie cutter, shot glass, or small cup to cut out small round pieces. I use a shot glass (for rakija) because I prefer this size. Place each cookie half a centimeter apart on your baking sheet.
Use this opportunity to be creative, and cut out some shapes in the middle of each cookie. Or leave each cut out cookie as is.
Bake the cookies for 15 minutes or until the bottom of the cookies begin to slightly brown but the tops remain light in color. Do not let them brown on top.
Remove the cookies from the oven and let them cool completely.
Re-knead the scraps of the remaining dough into a ball and roll it out again. Repeat the above steps until you’ve used up all your dough and baked all your cookies.
FILLING AND DECORATING
Once the cookies are completely cool, make sandwiches out of them with the jam. Take one cookie at a time, spread about ½ tsp of jam on it, and top it with another cookie.
If you are not a big fan of too much powdered sugar. Dip the up side part of the cookie in just a small amount of powdered sugar. This is instead of coating the entire cookie in powdered sugar.
Alternatively - once all the cookies are sandwiched place your powdered vanilla sugar in a medium bowl. Roll each cookie in the powdered sugar.
Store the cookies in an airtight container on the counter. The cookies are delicious fresh. However, traditionally they are stored for one or two days before eating. Something magical happens in these two days, so do wait, if you can!
These cookies should be stored in a covered container. I use a cake tin and store them like this for up to one week.
Alternatively store Vanilice in the fridge or you can also freeze them for multiple months. Please note, it is best to freeze them prior to being rolled in icing sugar. Once you are ready to eat them, simply thaw the Vanilice and then roll in icing sugar.
Feel free to use orange zest instead, just don’t add too much juice. Only add about 2-3 tablespoons of citrus juice to the mixture.
You can also leave out the walnuts, just use the same amount of flour instead.