Here’s an alternative to your favorite jam thumbprints. This jam cookie recipe uses a rich cream cheese-based dough and swirls it through with some raspberry jam. A sprinkle of cinnamon sugar over the top gives these jam cookies an extra special flavor. These adorable soft cookies are a great addition to a holiday cookie tray. They are very easy, and require limited special equipment (no cookie cutters!).
A Short History of this Jam Cookie Recipe
These pinwheels are a kind of icebox cookie. Icebox cookies are named after the icebox. The icebox preceded the modern refrigerator. An icebox is literally a box, lined with insulation material, in which perishable materials were kept cool by ice. Ice boxes required regular draining, as the ice melted, and refilling with fresh ice.
As iceboxes became a common kitchen appliance, recipes evolved along side them. For example, icebox cakes benefit from a stay in the refrigerator, during which the cookies soften and the flavors meld. For icebox cookies, the resting period in the cool air allows the butter to re-solidify. This ensures that the cookies don’t spread too much. Pinwheel cookies are a variation on an icebox cookie. Typically two flavors of dough, or a dough flavor and a topping are layered and rolled, producing a pretty pinwheel design.
- silicone baking mat
- baking sheet
- parchment paper
- Rolling Pin
- pastry brush
For the cookie dough
- 8 oz cream cheese softened
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
For the filling:
- 1/3 cup jam (raspberry or strawberry jam is very festive looking; apricot jam is also tasty!)
For the topping:
- 1 egg yolk beaten
- 1 tbsp milk
- 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
For the cookie dough
- In the bowl of a stand mixer using the paddle attachment, or using an electric mixer in a large bowl, cream butter and cream cheese on medium speed until well combined.
- Sift the flour and the salt into the butter mixture and mix on low speed until well combined.
- Press the dough into a ball, then flatten the dough ball into a roughly 1 inch thick circle. Wrap dough well in plastic wrap. Chill in the refrigerator for at leats 30 minutes, or up to overnight.
- Turn the chilled ball of dough out onto a generously floured surface. Sprinkle some four over the dough.
- Spread the jam filling all over, leaving a half inch border on one of the longer sides.
- Roll the dough up, ending at the side with the half inch with no jam.
- Divide dough log in two, then wrap each half tightly in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.
- While the cookie dough chills, stir together the egg yolk with the milk in a small bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the cinnamon and sugar.
- Use a sewing thread or a sharp knife to cut into half inch slices.
- Turn the unbaked cookies onto the prepared baking sheets. Brush with the egg yolk mixture, then sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar.
- Bake cookies 17 to 20 minutes until the edges of the cookies are golden brown.
- Remove from oven and cool cookies on a wire rack.
- Just before serving, sprinkle with confectioners' sugar.
Looking for some other cookie ideas? Check these out!
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