Split-Second Jam Cookies
Total Time: 40 minutes
Hands On Time: 20 minutes
Yield: about 4 dozen cookies
These jam cookies take less than 20 minutes to put together and another 20 minutes to bake. They’re tender and buttery, with great contrast from the tart jam. The recipe first appeared in Yankee about 10 years ago, a submission from reader Johanna Hurwitz, but they date back several decades before that. “My aunt Clara Morris was, by general agreement, the best cook in our family,” Johanna wrote. “She lived in a small Connecticut town named Uncasville [and] was secretary to the local probate judge. 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 in 1958.
“One of the responsibilities that came with her job was officiating at marriages … Since Clara was such a warmhearted person, it wasn’t 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.”
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- 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon table salt
- 1-1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or 1/2 teaspoon almond extract)
- 1/2 cup good-quality jelly or jam, any flavor
Preheat your oven to 350° and set a rack to the middle position. Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add the butter, egg, and vanilla, and beat well until the dough comes together.
Turn the 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 jam. Bake, rotating pans halfway through, until golden brown, about 20 minutes. Cut each loaf into a dozen bars while warm.