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.


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7 Responses to “Pasta with Roasted Vegetables and Arugula”

  1. 1

    Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction — January 28, 2010 @ 3:05 pm

    I always get frustrated when magazines print flavorless and blah recipes as their “healthy” solutions. Healthy and simple food does not need to be flavorless. Ok, I’ll get off my soap box now. I like your idea to add the Laughing Cow cheese… I love that stuff!

  2. 2

    Lisa — January 31, 2010 @ 4:39 am

    I make different versions of this dish for my family’s dinner all the time. A couple of spoons of pesto or dressing give it a lovely flavor.

    I think your photo looks better then the original.

    Cheers

  3. 3

    Christine Whittington — February 1, 2010 @ 4:18 pm

    My husband made Martha Stewart’s version and we thought it was wonderful. We did have very tasty grape tomatoes, used the Niçoise olives, a fragrant and flavorful EVOO, and coarse sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Green olives would have given the dish quite a different taste. Ours was superb. We did include a few paring of Asiago cheese on the top, but the dish would also have been fine without it. We may have roasted our veggies a tad more than those in your picture (or Martha’s for that matter)–the longer roasting may have brought out more flavor.

    • Lori Lange replied: — February 1st, 2010 @ 7:35 pm

      Christine- good to know! We just didn’t have good luck at all w/ this one but perhaps roasting the veggies a little longer & using a stronger tasting olive would be a better idea.

  4. 4

    Jace — February 4, 2010 @ 1:56 pm

    I made this last night and loved it. Brought it in for lunch and my coworker thought it was delicious! I subbed penne, sliced some onion in thin slivers for the shallots and increased the garlic by half again as much. I also microplaned some parmesan on top. I did have fresh thyme so that may have made a difference and I heavily salt my pasta water. This dish had a “sauce” that lightly coated the pasta, not dripping.
    I hate bland food and this was not bland; it was light and I’ll make it again. Would make a nice supper supper, too.

    • Lori Lange replied: — February 4th, 2010 @ 2:15 pm

      Jace- good to hear that you had success with it. That cheese addition is key, I think!

  5. 5

    marie — August 22, 2010 @ 11:50 am

    We make this all the time. I skip the olives and I cut the tomatoes in half prior to cooking. We love it. I also leave out the thyme and arugula! It is my fiance’s favorite dish! It is a must try and it is great in the summer and is great cold or hot!

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