Dress up these almond-flavored sugar cookies with a simple cooked blackberry filling spiced with cinnamon and cloves. They taste as good as they look and are easy to package in a jar or cellophane bag tied with a ribbon for a sweet gift.
Heat blackberries, 3 tablespoons sugar, cinnamon, cloves and water to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until thickened, about 10 minutes, stirring and mashing berries with a potato masher (you should have about 1/2 cup). Remove from heat and let cool completely.
Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Beat butter and remaining 3/4 cup sugar with an electric mixer until very light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes, scraping down bowl several times. Beat in egg, almond extract and vanilla extract. Gradually add flour on low speed, mixing just until blended, scraping down bowl once or twice.
Roll out to a rectangle about 12 inches by 8 inches, 1/4-inch thickness on a piece of parchment paper. Spread blackberry jam within 2 inches of edges. Roll up dough from long side into a tight log, using parchment paper to help lift dough. Tightly wrap dough log in plastic and refrigerate at least 4 hours.
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper. Slice cookies 1/4 inch thick. Arrange 12 cookies on each baking sheet, leaving 1-inch between cookies. Bake 13 to 15 minutes or until just beginning to brown. Sprinkle lightly with granulated or sanding sugar, if desired. Let cookies cool on pans 2 minutes then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.
Download a printable gift tag for this recipe here.