Sunday, December 23, 2012

Jane Dough's Spoon River Filled Cookies

Hey y'all .. I surely hope everyone is having fun with Holiday preps. I'm doing a little bit of baking this year... My Spoon River Filled Cookies are a favorite of mine.... I fill them with Apricot Jam, Raspberry Jam and Honey Walnut filling. So great on a Winter's day with a cup of Tea. I hope you will give them a try.... a caveat though... this is a dough that can be a challenge to work with... but if you don't yet know your way around rolled cookie dough,  you can't learn unless you try... :) And believe me, these are well worth the effort and learning...

Spoon River Filled Cookies

 I first have on hand a jar of Apricot Jam and a jar of Seedless Raspberry Jam ( be certain to use Jam, and not Jelly, as it is more substantive and makes better filling) . I also make a little batch of Honey Walnut filling as follows:

Food process or grind 4 to 5 Cups of shelled (not chopped) Black Walnuts  ( I process to crumbs the size of Couscous ) 
To the ground Walnuts I add in 1/4 cup Sugar, and just enough scalded Milk to make a paste. Then I drizzle Honey into the paste to add sweetness and to create a less crumbly paste. Your Walnut paste should look like this:

For the dough:

1/2 Cup Vegetable Shortening
1 1/2 Cups Sugar
2 Eggs
1 tsp. Vanilla
1 tsp. Nutmeg
1 tsp. Baking Powder
1 tsp. Baking Soda
1 Cup Sour Cream
4 Cups All Purpose Flour

I first combine all of the ingredients, except for the Flour. I mix them either by hand, or with my KitchenAid (with the dough hook) until smooth consistency and well blended.  Then I add in the Flour until a smooth dough forms. I cover the dough with plastic wrap. and refrigerate from 3 hrs to overnight.
I then return the dough to room temperature and I add in just enough flour to make the dough roll-able,  and not sticky in my hands. It will be very much like Pie dough. Your dough is roll-able when it looks like this: Note that I am generous with the amount of flour I use to keep the dough non-sticky. I flour my counter , my rolling pin and I flour the outer surface of the dough when rolling.

I roll the dough out like I would a pie crust as follows:

I then use a glass to cut circles of dough. I use a Martini glass... It cuts circles  that are optimal for filling.
I place a generous tablespoon of filling into the middle of each circle :

I then fold the dough in half, forming a crescent, pinching the ends of the dough together to seal the Jam inside.
I further seal the cookies by taking the floured tines of a fork and pressing the edge of the cookie. Take care to NOT pierce the filled part of the cookie.  I place the cookies on a lightly greased cookie sheet.
Bakes at 350' until the dough puffs and the very edges become golden.
Your finished cookies will look as such... I have drizzled on a little festive glaze for Christmas, ( very simply: Powdered sugar, Vanilla extract, 1 drop of Food coloring and just enough Water to make the glaze 'run' off your spoon. Let the glaze thoroughly dry before you store the cookies) or you could just dust with powdered sugar... whatever your preference. I hope you will have fun at playing with these cookies some time... and even more fun gnoshing them... :D

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