Tuesday, August 31, 2010


If you’re like me and you enjoy making jam more than you like eating it, or if you know someone like me who persists in giving you homemade preserves for Christmas, this recipe is a perfect way to use up that assortment of little half-full jars in the back of your fridge. I don’t know why it never occurred to me that I could just stir jam into plain butter-cookie dough, but I’m so glad Joy the Baker thought of it and created this simple, delicious recipe that can easily be made with ingredients you’re likely to have on hand. I used strawberry jam and the cookies turned out a delicate, barely-there pink, flecked with bits of fruit. The strawberry flavor isn’t strong, maybe because I added almond extract (replacing the ground ginger of the original, since ginger is not my fave and almond most definitely is, and Joy suggested it in the comments so I’m not just flying blind here), but I’m not a devotee of fruity cookies, so I kind of liked that subtlety. You can bet I’ll be trying these in a rainbow of varieties—blueberry, peach, maybe pear or apple butter in the winter… These are certainly basic, everyday cookies (mine verged on downright homely, rescued only by the sparkly sugar coating), but for a non-chocolate dessert, I find them pretty dang exciting.

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
⅔ cups sugar, plus ¼–½ cup extra for coating the cookies
1 egg
2 tablespoons milk
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon almond extract
¼ cup jam

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats.

2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl.

3. Working with a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy and smooth. Add ⅔ cup sugar and beat for 1 minute. Add the egg and beat for 2 minutes more. Add the milk, vanilla, and almond extract, and beat just to combine. Reduce the mixer speed to low, add the jam, and beat for 1 minute more. With the mixer still on low, add the dry ingredients and mix only until they are incorporated.

4. Fill a shallow bowl with sugar. Spoon a rounded teaspoon of the dough into the sugar, toss to coat, and remove to a baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough, leaving about an inch between cookies.

5. Bake the cookies for 10 to 12 minutes, rotating the pans from top to bottom and front to back at the midway point. The cookies will be only just firm, fairly pale, and browned around the edges. Remove the sheets from the oven and allow the cookies to rest for 1 minute, then carefully transfer them to racks to cool to room temperature.

Yields: About 5 dozen small cookies
Time: 1 hour
Leftover potential: High

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