Of all my cookie recipes I bake, this recipe is my daughter Randi’s favorite. She loves them. I like to make a batch of these cookies, wrap them up in aluminum foil, and deliver them to her as a loving care package. She puts them in her freezer, and then takes one, two, or three out for a night time treat. What makes these cookies special is the delicious, melt in your mouth, rich flavor of the cookie dough combined with the yummy jam. And these cookies look as good as they taste!
for the cookies:
- 1/2 cup butter or margarine at room temperature (these cookies come out best if you use Fleischmann’s salted margarine)
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- scant 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
- 3/4 of 1 extra large egg yolk
- about 1/4 teaspoon fresh lemon juice (Minute Maid lemon juice is just as good as fresh)
- 1/8 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1 1/2 cups unbleached flour
- jam or preserves (I use seedless raspberry, strawberry, or blackberry)
for the glaze:
- 1/2 cup confectioners sugar mixed with 1 tablespoon of water (You can substitute a drop or two of lemon juice for some of the water)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a large cookie sheet with butter or margarine, or put a piece of parchment paper on the cookie sheet.
In food processor fitted with the metal blade (you can do this in an electric mixer, too), cream margarine with sugar, then add vanilla and lemon juice, and pulse to mix.
Add flour and salt. Pulse until the mixture forms a ball. If it is too wet to come together, add another tablespoon of flour. Dump the dough onto a floured piece of wax paper or plastic wrap or onto a floured board. Divide the dough into 3 sections, quickly make each one into a ball, and wrap each in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour. When you are ready to bake, take out one section of the dough. Sprinkle a little flour on a board or counter. Using your hands, roll the dough into a rope about 9-12 inches long. It should be about 1 inch or so in diameter. Then place the rope of dough on the parchment paper on your cookie sheet going horizontally. Using your index finger, make a 1/2 inch hollow down the center of the rope. Do not flatten the indentation too much, because that will cause the cookie to will fall apart when you slice it. Try to build the dough up on either side of the hollowed our area. You want to do this, because the jam is going in that tunnel you are creating, and if the sides are not higher than the hollow, then the jam will run out.
Fill the hollow with jam. Repeat with the other two balls of dough. Bake for about 20-25 minutes until you can see that the edges are golden brown, but not burned! Let these cool right on the cookie sheet. When they are cool, make the glaze. Blend the confectioners sugar and the water with a wire whisk until smooth. If the mixture is too thin, add a little more sugar. If you think it is too thick, then thin it out with a drop more of water or a drop of lemon juice. It should not look too watery. Take a spoon, put some glaze in it, and just drizzle the glaze over the logs so they look pretty. Let the glaze set for about 20 minutes. Then, using a sharp knife, slice the cookies slightly on the diagonal about 3/4 inch to 1 inch thick. Transfer them carefully with a metal spatula to your serving plate. You can make these in advance as they freeze well. If you are doing this, then transfer the cookies using a metal spatula to a sheet of heavy duty aluminum foil, wrap them up, and put them in a ziploc freezer bag.
Note: The last time I made these, I used amazing jam which I bought in the supermarket, called Bonne Maman Four Fruits Preserves which is a combination of raspberries, strawberries, red currants, and cherries. The jam diagonals tasted incredible!