A disproportionate amount of my life is spent eating jam, thinking about jam, sourcing new flavors and brands of jam, and thinking about how to incorporate jam into new foods.
Of course Linzer cookies are high on my list of "Cookies with Jam," if not the list-topper. But when I make Linzer cookies I take my time; there are pretty cookie cutters and ground hazelnuts and flurries of powdered sugar—but, I wanted to make a cookie that was a little more carefree. I wanted the type of thing you could throw in a box and bring to a picnic.
So, inspired by a recent orange-apricot jam purchase, I whipped up these swirl cookies. But instead of using that precious jam (made by Sarabeth's, it's not cheap and will definitely be eaten with a spoon) I bought a new jar of apricot jam. Then I added the zest and juice of a fresh orange, which gives the dough a light orange taste and the filling, a pop of citrus. The dough is soft, sweet, and buttery, delicious on its own but perfect hugging a swirl of tart apricot.
- Yield:2 dozen cookies
- Active time: 30 minutes
- Total time:1 hour 50 minutes
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon orange zest
- 1/2 cup apricot jam
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt, and baking soda. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and creamy, about 3 minutes. Beat in egg, vanilla, and orange juice. Add flour mixture in two parts, beating until each is well combined and scraping down side of bowl between additions.
Divide dough into two equal balls. Wrap balls in plastic wrap and let chill in the refrigerator for one hour.
Preheat oven to 375°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Roll out first ball of dough on a well floured surface. Roll dough into 12 by 5 inch rectangle that is about 1/4 inch thick. Spread rectangle evenly with 1/4 cup of jam and 1/2 tablespoon orange zest. Carefully roll dough into a pinwheel, starting with the longest side. Use a sharp knife dipped in flour to cut 1/2 inch cookies from the rolled log of dough. Place cookies on baking sheet, using your hands to carefully tamp them down into a more perfect circle. Repeat with second ball of dough.
Bake cookies until golden, 17 to 20 minutes.