Jam- Filled Cream Cheese Cookies

Everyday Food, December 2009
Jam-Filled Cream Cheese Cookies
JamCookies1
The moment I received this month’s Everyday Food magazine, I knew I had found an appropriate cookie recipe for my upcoming cookie exchange.  The treats featured on the cover were festive-looking, cute and something a little more unique than the typical cookie.  I was a little hesitant though… I needed 5 dozen, and I knew these would be time-consuming.  The cream cheese dough is rolled out and cut into star-shapes.  Jam is spooned into the middle of the star and the points of the star are all folded into the middle and glued together with egg wash.  But since I love a challenge, I decided to go for it.  These turned out to be a wonderful cookie for the exchange, but there were numerous stumbling blocks.  I prepared the recipe as written but had to make several adjustments in order for it to be successful- see my notes below.
JamCookies2Jam-Filled Cream Cheese Cookies
Source:  Everyday Food, December 2009

ingredients:
8 ounces bar cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. coarse salt
1 large egg yolk
1 1/2 cups jam, jelly or preserves

directions:
1.  In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese, butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  With mixer on low, add flour and salt; beat until combined (do not overmix).
2.  Divide dough into 3 portions; flatten each into a disk.  Roll each disk to 1/8-inch thickness between sheets of parchment paper.  Stack dough (still in parchment) on a baking sheet; refrigerate 20 minutes.  (To store, wrap in plastic and freeze on sheet, up to 2 weeks.  Thaw until pliable before using.)
3.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees F., with racks in upper and lower thirds.  Mix egg yolk with 1/2 tsp. water.  Working with 1 dough sheet at a time, peel off parchment (save for baking).  With a 2-inch star cookie cutter, cut out cookies.  Spoon 1/2 tsp. of jam into the center of each and brush exposed dough with egg wash.  Shape cookies by folding point of the star into the center (see notes below); arrange, 2 inches apart, on two parchment-lined baking sheets and refrigerate 20 minutes (re-roll scraps).
4.  Bake until cookies are light golden brown, about 15 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through.  Let cool completely on wire racks.  (To store, cover and keep at room temperature, up to 4 days.)

Yield:  About 48

Notes from Culinary Covers:
*Although the end result was good, I had several problems with this recipe:  1.  The instructions as written ask you to roll out the dough between parchment, chill and then cut stars out from there.  This was a big fail.  The dough stuck to the parchment like glue.  I ended up scraping it off the parchment with a small spatula and rolling it into a ball.  I rolled it out on a lightly floured surface and then it was perfect for cutting (and scraps re-rolled just fine too).  I’m not quite sure why the instructions were written the way they were.  2.  I carefully folded the points of the star into the center and made sure all were well connected with egg wash.  I chilled the assembled cookies as directed and then baked.  The problem I had is that for every tray of 12 cookies that I baked, there were 3 or 4 that wanted to “open up” while baking.  They were all delicious, but there were always a few that didn’t turn out as perfect as the photo.  Since I was extremely careful with how I glued the points of the star to the center, this was extremely frustrating!
*In the magazine photographs, the cookies look like they have white sparkles sprinkled on top.  That wasn’t included in the instructions but I ended up brushing the tops with egg wash and sprinkling some chunky, sparkling white sugar on top.
*Despite the difficulties, I got fabulous feedback on the cookies at my cookie exchange.  They were delicious, and I was told that they were the prettiest cookie on the table.

Did this recipe deserve the cover?  Yes, because they are very pretty to include on a tray to give to friends for the holidays.  No, because there were problems with the instructions as written.  Would I make them again?  Yes, but only using the revisions that I noted.

Lori is the founder of RecipeGirl.com. She's a professional recipe developer and food writer, and she's the author of The Recipe Girl Cookbook (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt: April 2013). Beyond food, Lori enjoys traveling, being outdoors, running, and maybe even singing a little karaoke. The mountains near Lake Tahoe are home for Lori and her husband of 18 years. They have an 12 year-old son who blogs at RecipeBoy.com.

31 Responses to “Jam- Filled Cream Cheese Cookies”

  1. 1

    Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction — December 7, 2009 @ 8:15 am

    You did a great job with the cookies! I agree that they look beautiful, but that’s frustrating that the recipe didn’t work as written. You did a wonderful job adapting, though.

  2. 2

    VeggieGirl — December 7, 2009 @ 8:57 am

    Your revisions make it better, for sure!

  3. 3

    Barabara Bakes — December 7, 2009 @ 9:12 am

    They really are a spectacular looking cookie! Glad to hear they are delicious as well.

  4. 4

    BethieofVA — December 7, 2009 @ 1:45 pm

    I rarely have good luck with Martha’s recipes. Your cookies are lovely.

  5. 5

    Sues — December 7, 2009 @ 2:01 pm

    Yours look so much prettier!!

  6. 6

    Katie — December 7, 2009 @ 2:08 pm

    Did you sprinkle with chunky sugar before baking or after? I have always assumed the sugar would melt!

  7. 7

    Elizabeth — December 7, 2009 @ 2:50 pm

    I have a cookie exchange coming up and these would be perfect!

    You said the dough stuck to the parchment paper, but do you think flouring the paper or dough lightly then rolling would work? Or would it just be easier to roll the dough into balls and refrigerate those, then roll them out without the parchment?

    • Lori Lange replied: — December 7th, 2009 @ 2:57 pm

      Elizabeth- I think skipping the parchment entirely is a good idea. I’d refrigerate the dough in balls, as you mentioned, then roll out the chilled dough. My biggest frustration was the opening up of the points of the star, so just be careful to really stick them all in the middle with brushes of egg wash, then chill the cookies again before baking.

  8. 8

    Dez — December 7, 2009 @ 10:23 pm

    I have been thinking of making these too. I was thinking the star shape would come apart. Did you try making the other shape illustated inside? What kind of jam did you try? I was thinking Bon Maman cherry, apricot or marmalade.

    • Lori Lange replied: — December 7th, 2009 @ 10:37 pm

      Hi Dez,

      I used seedless raspberry jam & apricot preserves- just a teaspoon inside each star.

      I DID try the other shape that they picture in the interior of the magazine… made a whole bunch of those and they were disastrous. Jam leaked everywhere and they just weren’t pretty like the picture. The tucked-in stars were much more attractive! As I mentioned, some did come apart during baking. We ate those “rejects” and I took the rest to the cookie exchange :)

  9. 9

    Luisa — December 8, 2009 @ 10:04 am

    By 2 inch star, do you mean measured without the points? If so then the fianl cookies would only be 1 inch across. What was the measurement of the greatest diameter?

    • Lori Lange replied: — December 8th, 2009 @ 10:19 am

      Luisa, Well… I’m not really quite sure what “Martha” meant in her instructions, but I’ll tell you what I did. Stars are a bit tricky to measure because they have 5 points. The star I used was about 3 1/4-inches from point to point and about 1 1/2 inches in the interior. You’ll end up with cookies that are about 1 1/2-inches. They’re tiny, little, bite-sized things but that perfectly fine because you don’t really want a big mouthful of jam.

  10. 10

    natalie — December 8, 2009 @ 5:26 pm

    yum! these look great!

  11. 11

    Dina — December 10, 2009 @ 3:33 pm

    your cookies look just like the ones from the magazine! i can tell you from working at a food mag that recipes are tested in test kitchens, usually multiple times. who knows what went wrong. it could be the brands of ingredients you and the mag used were different. baking is difficult. i’ve seen magazines change recipes that worked at home but didn’t work in the test kitchen.

    • Lori Lange replied: — December 10th, 2009 @ 3:48 pm

      Dina- I think you’re exactly right! So many factors can come into play & baking really can be an exact science sometimes. Sometimes I develop recipes that work flawlessly, and there is always a reader or two who can’t seem to work it out. It’s nice if you’re skilled enough to know how to improvise, that’s for sure :)

  12. 12

    jami — December 11, 2009 @ 1:15 am

    I’m making these right now, and I think my star cookie cutter is smaller than you mentioned – but not a lot – about 2 1/2″ from tip to tip and about 1 1/2″ across the middle – but I couldn’t get any more than about an eighth of a teaspoon of jam in the middle! I went back to reread the recipe and found that they really are supposed to be itty-bitty cookies, but I can’t imagine how you could get anywhere near 1/2 tsp in the middle. I love two-bite cookies, but I think it would be fun to try these with larger cookie cutters to be able to really get a nice, jammy center.

    Still, I’m excited to try them!

  13. 13

    jami — December 11, 2009 @ 1:20 am

    Follow up note: I halved the recipe and got 30 cookies. TWENTY-NINE of them opened up during baking. Eesh! I also wondered: since the dough is fairly sticky, the egg wash inside just made it gloopy. Do you think the dough would stick better without the egg wash, and then you could still brush the tops before sprinkling with sugar? I might try that if I make these again (which I’ll be willing to do if they taste good – they certainly smell delicious!).

    • Lori Lange replied: — December 11th, 2009 @ 6:25 pm

      Jami- 29???? I’m shocked! My dough wasn’t sticky at all by the time I used flour to roll it out, etc. I wonder if that made a difference? You know those little ceramic pie weights… I was thinking that placing those in the center of each cookie might help anchor it down. I know that’s a drastic measure, but there’s got ot be something that we’re missing that would make this recipe work easier!

  14. 14

    Louise — December 11, 2009 @ 11:29 am

    Now, you got me to thinking. Perhaps, there is hope for me. Just maybe, I’m not savvy enough to know the recipe may be the problem, NOT me. I really think I should revisit my thoughts on baking. I want to bake cookies as pretty as those. Your really are my inspiration, Lori. I think next year, I will take the plunge with you as my guide.

    Have I told you how much I LOVE your new blog? I’m sure glad to be back!!!

    • Lori Lange replied: — December 11th, 2009 @ 6:26 pm

      Thanks Louise- glad you’re enjoying :)

  15. 15

    Mandy — December 11, 2009 @ 11:42 pm

    yours turned out SO CUTE! I wasn’t impressed with the cover but loved how yours turned out and the notes. I will have to try them.

  16. 16

    Ninette — December 12, 2009 @ 4:35 pm

    What a great idea for a blog! The recipe looks like kolacky, a Polish or Eastern European jam-filled cookies, except the shape is different.

  17. 17

    Jenn — December 13, 2009 @ 1:04 am

    I made a double batch of these tonight for a cookie exchange tomorrow – I had no trouble with rolling dough out between parchment. I chilled the dough overnight (out of convenience) and it rolled out great and even though after awhile at room temperature it would get soft, I rolled the scraps out using parchment on top of my rolling pin, no problem. But, I had a similar experience for the cookies not holding shape – for a DOUBLE batch I have maybe 1 dozen nice ones, all the others opened up or ran all over. They still taste great and some of them look great, others not so great. I had better luck with the square shape rather than the star. The star was so hard to get all points to stay together while baking. I even experimented and did some like empanaditas – jam in the middle with entire thing sealed, still opened up. I agree – only about 1/8 – 1/4 tsp. of jam (raspberry and apricot) were able to fit in my cookies – I had a pretty big star cutter. Sigh. I am SO glad that I was not the only one with trouble on this recipe. Tastes great, but hard to get that picture perfect look!

  18. 18

    Jenn — December 13, 2009 @ 1:05 am

    Forgot to mention (sorry, long post) that the recipe at the beginning notes does talk about adding sugar, but not sparkling or chunkier sugar. I used egg wash and regular sugar on my first batch but didn’t bother on the rest b/c I didn’t have sparkling sugar on hand and that would be best like you used – yours are so pretty!

  19. 19

    Katrina — December 13, 2009 @ 9:54 am

    I think we did a TWD cookie that had a lot of cream cheese in it and we were instructed to roll the dough out in plastic or waxpaper, just as you mention and I’m pretty sure it was pretty sticky. Seems like I rolled mine with lots of flour, too. But you’re right, that said the cookies do look great!

  20. 20

    Stephanie — December 15, 2009 @ 2:05 pm

    I made these last night and experienced the same frustrations. It took much longer than the recommended time and my stars and squares opened up too. I gave up and the cookie exchange will have to go on taste rather than looks!

  21. 21

    Sherida — December 21, 2009 @ 7:30 pm

    So glad I found this blog before I tried making these cookies! I have had the ingredients for weeks, but just haven’t had the time and was planning to try this week. Will definitely use everyone’s comments as guidelines. I loved the fudge recipes from this magazine, so was expecting the cookies to be as user-friendly. I guess not! Will keep an eye on your blog for more great ideas! Thanks and Merry Christmas!

  22. 22

    Melissa — December 23, 2009 @ 11:41 pm

    I just made the other square-ish shape and there were so many visual rejects (although all of them tasted good). I might try the stars next time based on your helpful blog post!

  23. 23

    Lorraine Fina Stevenski — December 17, 2010 @ 9:19 pm

    This recipe was also in the 2010 Martha Stewart Holiday Cookies magazine publication this year. I am so glad to read all the personal input for this recipe. I made the dough tonight in my food processor. Easy. I will refrigerage overnight and roll out tomorrow without the parchment. I will skip the star shape and roll them like a Rugelach cookie with apricot-peach jam filling. So much easier and they will also look beautiful when sprinkled with coarse sugar. Thanks for the information.

  24. 24

    marla — December 20, 2010 @ 4:22 pm

    These cookies look awesome & I am linking to them tomorrow in my cookie recipe post :)

  25. 25

    Lee Ann — December 19, 2011 @ 8:52 am

    thank you for the recipe, they turned out delicious.. although I didn’t have a star cutter so i made squares and folded two opposite corners to seal in the middle.. thank you again!!!

Leave a Comment