When my MIL makes these, she cuts out two sets of disks, one a bit smaller than the other, which, after baking, she glues together with jam so she ends up with a tiered cookie instead of an ordinary sandwich cookie. Then she sprinkles powdered sugar over the top. It’s all very festive: she uses strawberry jam because it’s red and these are one of her standard Christmas cookies, but with heart-shaped cutters, it would be very Valentine’s Day.
But sugar, jam, and powdered sugar makes them too much of a sugar bomb for me. So I made changes, since I was having to heavily reinterpret her recipe anyway (because her instructions leave a lot to the imagination and because, holy cow, she recommends baking them at 100°C, which I found failed to incite the copious quantity of baking powder to react and puff the cookies up somewhat, so I bumped the temperature up to 177°C). I decided to make more of a thumbprint type cookie out of the recipe, because when cookies have jam, I think that jam should be cooked so it gets a bit chewy. Also I ditched the dusting of powdered sugar.
The bonus here is that, like a lot of cookie recipes, this is a super low single use packaging recipe. Because the single egg came from one of our chickens, the only packaging I went through was the paper around the flour, the baking powder, and the vanilla sugar, and the wax paper-lined foil around the butter, and that was enough raw material to make 80 cookies and still have a bunch of flour and sugar (etc) left over. (Take that, petrochemical plastic producers!) The personal added bonus of this recipe is that no one in this household is a jam eater under ordinary circumstances, so baking cookies like these give us something to do with the multitudes of jars of homemade quince, apple, or blackberry jam the neighbors foist off on us every autumn because that’s what neighbors do to you when you live out in the countryside.
Single Decker Jam Drop Cookies
Theoretical yield: 40 cookies
- 150 g (2/3 cup) butter (vegan option: vegetable shortening)
- 100 g (½ cup) sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract (or one 8 g packet vanilla sugar)
- 1 egg
- 300 g (2 and 2/5 cups) flour
- 8 g (2 tsp) baking powder
- 4 g (1 tsp) cinnamon
- pinch of nutmeg
- Cream butter, sugar, and vanilla. Add egg and whip in until well-mixed.
- Mix in flour, cinnamon, nutmeg.
- Roll dough out on floured surface to about 1 cm thickness and using a glass, biscuit cutter, or round cookie cutter, cut into disks. Place each disk on lined baking tray and with a tiny spoon or your finger, make a divot in the center (but don’t punch all the way through). Place a sufficient but not excessive amount of jam in the depression.
- Bake ~15 minutes at 350°F/177°C. Cool on a rack.