Friday, September 24, 2010

Cookie #87 - Raspberry Jam Strips

One of the nicest comments I've received about my blog was from a reader who said it was so "real." 
That is my goal. 
It was never my intent to only show you the good that comes out of my kitchen.  If I'm to grow as a baker, I don't feel the need to hide my mistakes.  By putting my errors out there, I hope for the constructive criticism from other bakers and food lovers alike. 
I'm also not afraid to tell you when I don't like something.  For example, describing the scent of my Wisconsin Cheddar Cookies as nauseating.  Who does that?  This girl. 
By the way, those cookies were a huge hit with my favorite taste tester, Corey.  He still talks about them.
Now I bring you Raspberry Jam Strips.  
After some of the more daring and different cookies I've made, these were rather plain.  My mom loved them.  She normally tries to stear clear of eating many of my cookies (I admire her willpower) but she just couldn't stay away from these.  I think they remind her of the linzer tarts my father used to buy her.  Deep down, it makes me so happy that I was able to recreate a flavor that brings back such happy memories for her. 
The inspiration for this cookie came after I watched an old episode of Food Network Challange.
Theresa Cannavo, who gets mad props for her gingerbread bird houses, make Papa's Boysenberry Ropes.
Did I just write 'mad props?'  Remind me never to do that again.
I really liked the idea of making long ropes of cookies and then cutting after baking - much like the way biscotti is made.  
Since I had some raspberry preserves in the fridge, I chose to use it up for this cookie.  I made a basic butter cookie base and after forming into logs, I created a trough in the center.  After baking, I filled the center with the raspberry jam and cut into 1" wide pieces.  Actually, Corey cut them because I was called upstairs to fight a monster in Sydney's closet.  Damn monsters.  Though I know I'll miss them when they're gone. 
The flavors of this cookie were very simple and very straightforward.  Butter cookie.  Raspberry.  Nothing develops late on your palate.  Nothing tickles your nose after a few bites.  Simple - and sometimes simplicity can be beautiful. 
If you like jam thumbprints, these cookies are a good substitute.  They're easier to make, since you don't have to roll individual cookies.  I suppose if you wanted, you could sprinkle some chopped nuts on top of the raspberry preserves to really get that thumbprint flavor.  Also, since the dough itself is rather nondescript (aside from being buttery) you could replace the raspberry jam with whatever flavor floats your boat.  They'd be scrumptious with fig filling and a little cinnamon & nutmeg added to the cookie dough. 
I'm positive I'll be making these cookies again.  They disappeared from my kitchen lickety split and I've already had requests for another batch.

Raspberry Jam Strips

1 1/4 cups flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup raspberry jam

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. 
Cream butter and sugar.  Mix in flour until a dough forms.
Divide the dough in half.  Shape each half of the dough on a parchment lined baking sheet into a log about 9" long.  Using the handle of a wooden spoon (or your fingers) make an indentation down the length of the dough. 
Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden.
Immediately after removing from the oven, spoon raspberry jam into the indentation.  Cut the strips into 1" pieces.  Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. 

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