Sunday, December 11, 2011

Christmas Cookie #3 - Jam Pockets

There is no better way to spend a Sunday afternoon in the month of December than to be baking cookies while listening to Christmas music. Granted I probably should've been shopping for presents or finishing my school work for the semester but Christmas Cookies jumped straight to the top of the list today. These pocket cookies are very versatile. I tried a bunch of different jams inside and two different types of sugar to finish them. My favorite combination that I came up with today was definitely the blueberry preserves with the granulated sugar. 
2 Sticks Unsalted Butter - Cold & Cubed
2 Cups Flour
1/2 Cup Confectioners Sugar
1/2 Tsp Salt
1 Egg
1 Tsp Vanilla

Filling & Topping Possiblities:
Blueberry Preserves
Raspberry Jam
Nutella Hazelnut Spread
Granulated Sugar
Confectioners Sugar

Start by combining the flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor, give it a good pulse to mix everything together. Add the cold cubed butter, one stick at a time and pulse the food processor a couple of times until the mixture forms into a crumble. At this point I couldn't fit anything else into my food processor so I poured the entire thing into my mixer bowl. 
If your food processor is large enough you don't have to do that but if it isn't you can finish the cookie batter in a mixer. Add the egg and vanilla and mix on a medium speed for 2 minutes until smooth and well combined. Using a spatula take out all of the dough, wrap it in plastic and chill it in the fridge for at least 3 hours.
When you dough is ready, preheat the oven to 375 F. I found that the dough is easier to work with when it is cold. If it gets too warm it becomes soft. If this happens place the dough back in the fridge for a few minutes to cool down and you will be able to work with it easier.
Flour a surface and roll the dough out to about 1/4 of an inch. Using a circle cookie cutter or the edge of a glass, cut out the cookies. Place them on a non-stick cookie sheet about 2 inches a part. Put 1/2 Tsp of whatever preserve or filling you have chosen right in the center of each cookie. More than 1/2 of a Tsp of filling or filling that isn't in the center will leak out of the cookie while it is baking. Just a side note - don't use Jelly. I tried Strawberry but it was too thin and made a complete mess. The thicker the jam the better which is why the preserves worked the best.
Fold two of the sides up to close the pocket. You can fold them over one another or just get them to touch  to make a seam. Bake for 10 minutes until the bottom is golden brown but the top remains light, the jam should also be bubbling slightly. Wait 2-3 minutes until they cool off a bit and dunk them in either the powdered or granualted sugar.
Enjoy!! - Nicole

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