Teen-tested recipe: Almond Cookies with Raspberry Jam
Published: Tuesday, October 18, 2011 - 2:51pm
While many Uni students love to bake, it's clear that not all recipes are exactly suited to the culinary skills (or lack thereof) of most high schoolers. So, Gargoyle reporter Nikita Dutta and Class of 2011 alum Eleni Yannelis have taken the liberty of testing a recipe beforehand and working out the kinks to give you the inside scoop on how to succeed in your baking endeavor. This time around, they've chosen almond cookies filled with raspberry jam.
JAM-FILLED COOKIE RECIPE:
Adding sugar to the mixture of cream cheese and butter. Gargoyle photo by Nikita Dutta (click to enlarge).
Adapted from this recipe for Raspberry-Filled Almond Cookies.
For the cookies:
Makes 3 to 4 dozen
- 1 cup butter
- 3 ounces cream cheese
Except most companies sell cream cheese in 8-ounce packages! We just estimated the amount and they came out fine, so don't worry if your measurement is not exact.
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 egg yolk
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 cups flour
1 jar of raspberry jam
The finished cookie dough, ready to be rolled into balls and filled with jam. Gargoyle photo by Nikita Dutta (click to enlarge).
1. Preheat the oven to 350° F.
2. Beat the cream cheese and softened butter together with an electric mixer.
3. Gradually add in the sugar and continue to beat. Once the mixture is smooth, add the vanilla extract, almond extract, and egg yolk.
4. Add flour, but stir instead of beating.
5. Roll dough into small balls and place them on a lined cookie sheet. With your thumb, press down on each one to make a small indentation.
6. Drop a spoonful of jam into each indentation.
7. Bake about 12 minutes, or until cookies are firm and very slightly golden.
THE INSIDE SCOOP:
Eleni was a little unsure about choosing this recipe since it wasn't exactly the same as the one her mom used when she was a kid, however it did not let us down. As evidenced by the fact that Nikita's family ate the entire batch--and it was a large batch!--over the course of one day, these cookies were absolutely delicious.
The dough is simple to make--you do little more than just stick everything in a bowl and beat it--and the cream cheese, while a somewhat uncommon ingredient for cookies, adds a really nice kick of flavor. The original recipe recommended rolling the balls of dough in crushed almonds before baking them, which you're welcome to try if you're a real almond fiend, but we skipped this step in order to make the cookies a little more similar to Eleni's mom's.
As for the jam, we thought raspberry was an ideal flavor, especially because it went nicely with the cream cheese and almond extract in the cookie dough, and we ended up dumping way more than the 1/4 teaspoon of jam called for by the original recipe into the thumbprints. It added just enough tartness and fruity flavor to cut the sweetness of the cookie itself.
However, the jam aspect is really up to you to play with. Try out whatever flavor you want (any berry flavor would probably work well, but we might be a little more wary of, say, apple) and add enough to suit your taste. We ended up baking them with just a small spoonful, but then adding more as an afterthought once they came out of the oven, which, as far as we could tell, tasted just as good as if we had put it all on beforehand.
One word of caution, though: keep an eye on the cookies while they bake and don't just mindlessly leave them in for the whole suggested time. We ended up taking them out a little early so that they stayed soft, but it was hard to pinpoint how long we cooked them for because the baking time varied a bit between batches. So, check on them every once in a while. If they're starting to get just a little golden and feel pretty firm to the touch, they're probably done. Otherwise, these cookies are easy, so enjoy!