Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Mini Jam Pockets

It's winter. How do I know? Well I sleep in socks, I wear a scarf outside every day and I have about 3 hours of sunlight during which to take photos of food. I can see my breath form little clouds as I stand at the bus stop late at night. I go in to stores just for a few-minute respite from the cold on my way to places. It's winter.

But I still like to pretend it isn't. And these little jewel-filled cookies are just the trick - a plain, boring, sugar cookie outside, and a pop of color and flavor hiding inside.
I made these extra teeny tiny because I just thinks it makes them even more adorable. I used strawberry jam in the centers, but you could use any kind you like, or even several different kinds for a whole jewel-tone collection. Plus, that way it will be a surprise every time you bite in to one!
The technique here is not difficult, but the important part comes when sandwiching the two together - use a well-floured fork to press the dough together on all sides, which will ensure you don't rip the dough, which would cause all your filling to ooze out during baking!

Tip of the Day: Cookie cutters of any size can be used, and the baking time should be about the same regardless - just keep an eye on them, the minute you start to see any brown, take them out.

3/4 cups (1 1/2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1 egg plus one egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/4 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup fruit jam of your choice

Beat together butter and sugar until light and creamy. Beat in eggs and vanilla.
Gradually mix in flour, baking powder and salt.
Shape dough into 2 balls and wrap in wax paper or saran wrap and refrigerate overnight (or freeze for a couple hours).
Lightly flour your counter or surface, and roll out dough 1/4 of an inch thick.
Cut out as many shapes as possible with a 2-3" round cookie cutter. Place 1/2 - 1 teaspoon of jam in the center of half the shapes, then top with another shape and use a well-floured fork to seal the sides together, pressing gently.
Transfer the cookies to a parchment-paper lined baking sheet.
Bake the cookies for 10 to 13 minutes at 350F, without letting them get brown.Transfer to wire racks to cool.