Jam Treasures

There are only 9 days left before Christmas. Are you panicking yet?

If you’ve ever worked in retail during the holidays, then you know that this past weekend and heading into next weekend is the part of the season you dread the most. Armed with lists that usually include rather vague notions of what they’re after, the last minute shoppers are out in full force. The clock is winding down and the sense of urgency and desperation is kicking in, which typically means the idea of manners and civility, and that cheerful holiday spirit we’re all supposed to be filled with, goes quickly by the wayside.

Manners are the first things to go. The amount of people that just blatantly interrupt because they think their request is more important than the person you’re already helping (and the other five in line ahead of them) always baffles me. Some days I just want to scream, “How about you wait your turn like everyone else, cause guess what. You’re not the only one shopping. See all these other people around us? They’re all trying to do the exact. same. thing. WE’RE ALL IN THE SAME BOAT HERE!” But, of course, I don’t.

As it gets closer to Christmas, even the civility towards others declines right along with the manners. Every year there are fist fights in the parking lot (with a few instances of the police having to be called). Come on people. Let’s not let the holidays stress us out so much we end up hauling off and hitting someone over a parking spot. Let’s just eat cookies and be friends. Isn’t that what Christmas is supposed to be about?

I think some might call these cookies Kolache, but I’m not really sure what an authentic, traditional kolache entails, so we’ll just stick with calling them Jam Treasures. They’re made with a tender cream cheese dough and a hefty helping of delicious jam to make them perfectly sweet. I used homemade blackberry, but fill them with whatever you love. And yes it’s true—there’s no sugar in the dough. (Which I totally freaked out about when I taste tested it. I thought I forgot to add it and had to double check the original recipe and compare it to similar recipes to make sure that was how it was really supposed to be!)

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go curl up in the fetal position in a corner somewhere and stress eat cookies until next Monday when people are so desperate for a gift they’ll take just about anything you hand them.

Up to Cookie #9! We're almost there!

Jam Treasures
From Taste of Home: Cookies
Makes 2 dozen

½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
3 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all purpose flour
Pinch of salt
3/4 cup of jam (blackberry, raspberry, or your favorite flavor)
1 egg
1 teaspoon water
2 tablespoons sanding sugar (or granulated sugar)
3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar

1. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour and salt; set aside. In a large bowl, cream butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add vanilla, beating to combine. Gradually add flour mixture, beating until just combined.
2. Turn dough out onto a clean work surface. Pat dough into a disk shape and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill in the refrigerator for an hour.
3. Preheat oven to 375F. Line baking sheets with a parchment paper or silicone liners; set aside. In a small bowl, whisk together egg and water; set aside.
4. On a lightly floured work surface, roll dough out to 1/8-inch thickness. Cut into shapes with a 3-inch round cookie cutter. Place 1 teaspoon of jam in the center. Bring opposite edges together, overlapping slightly, pinching together to seal. Place on prepared baking sheets 1 inch apart. With a pastry brush, brush with egg wash and sprinkle with sanding or granulated sugar.
5. Bake, rotating pans halfway through, until golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool on baking sheet for several minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Sift confectioners’ sugar over top of cookies before serving.
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