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Clara's Quick Jam Cookies | A Fast and Sweet Homemade Treat

Clara’s Quick Jam Cookies | A Fast and Sweet Homemade Treat
3 votes, 3.00 avg. rating (64% score)
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These jam cookies take less than 15 minutes to put together and another 20 minutes to bake, making them a perfect solution for those moments when you need something sweet and homemade in a hurry. They’re tender and buttery with great contrast from the tart jam. The cookies first appeared in Yankee about ten years ago, a submission from a reader named Johanna Hurwitz.

Quick Jam Cookies

Johanna shared the story behind these cookies, and it’s a charmer:

“My aunt Clara Morris, nicknamed Cluck because of her wonderful crowing laugh, was by general agreement the best cook in our family,” she wrote. “She lived in a small Connecticut town named Uncasville. I loved visiting, partly because it tickled me that the town’s population—2,000—was the number of students in my New York City junior high school.

Clara was secretary for the local probate judge, and when he retired, she decided to run for his position. Despite the fact that her formal education had ended with her high school diploma, she was voted into office. (Because of her years behind the scenes, she knew the job inside and out; she was a good judge).

One of the responsibilities that came with her job was officiating at marriages. Since Clara was such a warmhearted person, it was not enough for her to merely perform these weddings. Afterward, she always offered the couple a cup of coffee and something sweet, like these cookies, which she could whip up in a hurry.”

Split-Second Jam Cookies Recipe

Total time: 45 minutes; hands-on time: 15 minutes

Makes: About 4 dozen cookies

Ingredients for jam cookies:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or 1/2 teaspoon almond extract)
  • 1/2 cup good quality jelly or jam, any flavor

Method for jam cookies:

Preheat oven to 350°. Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add the butter, egg, and vanilla and beat well until dough begins to come together. It may take two minutes or so.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide into 4 parts. Shape each into a roll about 13 inches long and transfer to an ungreased cookie sheet with about 4 inches between them. Press the logs down to a 3/4-inch thickness. Use a knife handle to make a depression about 1/2 inch deep down the center of each log. Fill each depression with the jam. Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes. Cut each loaf into about a dozen bars while warm.

Amy Traverso


Amy Traverso


Senior lifestyle editor Amy Traverso oversees Yankee's Food and Home & Garden departments and contributes articles to the magazine. Amy book, The Apple Lover's Cookbook (W.W. Norton), won an International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) cookbook award for the category American. Follow !
Updated Thursday, March 7th, 2013

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One Response to Clara’s Quick Jam Cookies | A Fast and Sweet Homemade Treat

  1. Amy Catherine Adams May 11, 2013 at 7:15 pm #

    I have made this recipe twice now for a thank you, as well as a dessert for a special anniversary. The recipe is simple, and the results are delicious. The simple dough recipe yields a buttery crust filled with your favorite jam. The flavors of these bars roll together, and pair well with tea, coffee, and yummy hot chocolate.

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