Every Christmas, Aunt Jean sends my mom a big box of homemade jams, jellies and preserves, so my plan was to put off making a batch of Buttery Jam Cookies until the box came in. I love finding out what flavor combinations Jean’s come up with from year to year, like orange-champagne, tangerine, strawberry-kiwi, pear. And they’re so good, I’ve even eaten the blueberry-lime, even though blueberries make me feel like I’ve swallowed a chainsaw. That’s how much I love Jean’s jams.
So, I waited for the box. And waited. And Mom never mentioned it.
But on Christmas morning, when we all sat down to breakfast, there were the jams, jewel-like, next to a pile of homemade biscuits.
I thought Mom had held out on me, but as Jeff and I were leaving that night, she slipped me my very own little glass jar. Apricot Couvoiseur 2008. A very good year.
As for the cookies, they were very light and cakey, and the flavor was very, very subtle. So I spread a little jam over the tops. And when that was still too subtle, I used the jam to sandwich some of the cookies together, like Apricot Couvoiseur Oreos. Because in my family, we share, but we don’t do “subtle.”
Buttery Jam Cookies
Adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s “Baking: From My Home to Yours”
Makes 40 to 50 cookies
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1 large egg
- 2 tablespoons whole milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup apricot jam
- Icing sugar for dusting
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and place two racks in the oven, one in the upper third of the oven and one in the lower third of the oven. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
- Sift together the flour, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar (on high speed) for 2 to 3 minutes until light and fluffy. Add the egg and beat on high speed for an additional minute. Add the milk and the vanilla extract and beat on high speed for 30 seconds. Add the jam and beat on low speed for 1 minute. Add the dry ingredients, with the mixer on low speed, just until they’re mixed in. The dough will be extremely thick and stiff.
- With a an ice cream scoop or a teaspoon, drop spoonfuls of the dough onto baking sheets, forming cookies that are about 1 inch to 1-1/2 inches in size.
- Bake the cookies for 10 minutes, rotating the trays from top rack to bottom rack halfway through.
- Once baked, let the cookies sit on the pan for a minute or two and then remove to a wire rack and let cool completely. Dust with icing sugar before serving.