Finnish Bridal Cookies

I don't really know much of the history of these cookies but they seem like a tasty idea, and one can easily imagine the symbolism associated with them. Would appreciate further background (and amendments to or alternate recipes from) our Finnish fellow noders.

Yield: 3 to 4 dozen
Time: 30 minutes

  1. Preheat oven to 375° F. Lightly grease 2 baking sheets.
  2. In a large bowl, cream the vegetable shortening and vanilla sugar. Gradually blend in the flour.
  3. In a small bowl, beat the egg white until stiff but not dry. Fold the egg white into the dough.
  4. On a floured surface, roll the dough out to a thickness of 1/4 inch. Using a 1 1/2 inch round cookie cutter, cut out an even number of rounds and place 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheets.
  5. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until lightly colored,. Transfer to wire racks to cool.
  6. To assemble, spread 1/2 teaspoon of the jam or preserves over the bottom of half the cookies, top with the remaining cookies and gently press together.