I find it funny how certain smells remind us of particular moments. For me, cherry hand cream takes me back to my couple of months spent in New York, Pantene shampoo always reminds me of getting my hair done at the hair salon in Panama, and banana bread baking in the oven instantly recalls memories of our honeymoon spent in Thailand. The smell of cookies baking in the oven also brings back childhood memories of me cooking up a storm with my mom in the kitchen. I was baking cookies the other day when my friend staying with us from NYC walked through the front door. “Wow, this smell reminds me of my childhood, but I can’t pinpoint why nor what it reminds me of,” he said, as he walked to the kitchen to take a bite out of a freshly baked cookie. After a couple of bites accompanied with a glass of milk, he finally remembered what the smell reminded him of — a bakery in Brooklyn where he’d always go as a child to buy strawberry jam sandwich cookies. It turns out that strawberry jam sandwich cookies were precisely what I was baking that day, not knowing that it was his childhood favorite.
Jon really loves to have freshly baked and homemade goodies for breakfast, such as blueberry muffins or apple cinnamon bread. He also sometimes eats homemade cookies for breakfast with a coffee whenever I bake some, so I thought about trying something new featuring his favorite jam made out of strawberries. I bought cookie cutters two months ago but never got around to using them, and decided that today was the day to give them a try by making sandwich cookies filled with jam.
Sandwich cookies are generally made with small cookie cutters, however I wanted to be a bit more creative and create bigger versions. I stumbled upon a recipe in Bon Appetit some time ago for Blueberry Jam Sandwich Cookies, so I decided to use it as a cookie dough basis to create these decadent bites. The cookies are quite buttery as they call for 1 cup of butter (225 grams), but you’ll also notice a hint of lemon zest in them that really pairs well with the flavor of the strawberry jam. They’re a bit sweet, but not so much so, as the jam brings all the added sweetness. The most surprising part of this recipe is that all of it can be achieved in 30 minutes or less. Although Bon Appetit’s recipe calls for chilling the dough for at least 4 hours, I found that the dough bakes just fine without it.
Bon Appetit’s recipe calls for baking the cookies for 10 to 12 minutes, however I found that even though my cookies were bigger versions they needed only 8 minutes to be golden-crisp. Timing here is key — after testing numerous batches of cookies I realized that 8 minutes is the perfect time; cook them one minute more or less and you’ll end up with either a soggy cookie or one that is hard as a rock. The 8 minutes of baking will turn them into golden, delicious cookies that are chewy in the center and crispy on the outside. Our friend from NYC wasn’t the only happy man in the house that day. Jon was too, and as he walked through the front door, he rushed to the kitchen as well!
- 1 cup (225g) butter, softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- Lemon zest grated from 1 full lemon
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 egg yolks
- 2¼ cups all-purpose flour
- Strawberry jam
- Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C and line a baking sheet with parchment paper
- In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter until creamy and fluffy on high-speed, about 4 minutes. Add the sugar, lemon zest and salt, and beat for one more minute to combine. Add the egg yolks and beat to combine. Add the flour in two batches, beating between each addition to combine.
- Roll up the dough in a ball, and place it in between two sheets of waxing paper. With a rolling pin, roll it out until 2cm thick.
- With a large cookie cutter, cut out the cookies. Place on the baking sheet. Roll and flatten the remaining dough and cut with cookie cutters again until you have no dough remaining.
- Bake for 8 minutes until golden on the sides. Let cool for 5 minutes, then move to a wire rack.
- Separate the cookies in two different batches. Spread a tablespoon of strawberry jam on each cookie from one of the batches, and use the cookies from the remaining batch to cover them.
How did your blueberry muffins come out? Share photos of your recipe on Instagram by tagging #savormania