I have a weak spot for jam. And butter. And anything Dorie Greenspan. So when I first heard about Dorie's pop-up cookie bar and her delectable jammers, I knew that I'd either have to fly out to New York myself (unrealistic, but would be phenomenal) or attempt to make them as best as I could (not as awesome, but still great.) So, after many attempts at starting, many excuses for pausing, and a few deleted drafts, I introduce you to Dorie Inspired Jammers. Sorry it's late, but believe me, they are worth the wait. And thank you to Jen for opening up your place and snapping pictures and N for baking with me. Baking with friends is more fun, isn't it?
And before you think I am crazy for even thinking of flying all the way out to NY to get a taste of these, you should hear Dorie gush about them. "This is the cookie that came to me in a dream. These are the jammers. A sable - french butter short bread - with jam and streusal on top... Break it open... show the inside! I love the way the jam gets a shine and gets a little firm." And mmm. mmm. mmm. Boy, is she right. These things are BEAUTIFUL and DELICIOUS. Granted, I made a few changes and modifications, but I really hope that Dorie would approve anyways. :)
I call them Dorie inspired jammers for a number of reasons. First, we took the sable base, and we tweaked it to add almonds since N really, really loves almonds. We also used different jam (blenheim apricot and rose strawberry) in part because they are local and I like to support my local community, but more so because as I've mentioned before, this apricot jam is the most delicious jam I have ever had in my life. Since I couldn't find Dories streusal recipe anywhere, we took this one, and made it slightly different and added almonds of course. And lastly, since we didn't have ring mold or a whoppie pie pan, we used my mini loaf pan, which worked wonderfully by baking a lovely crispy edge for the cookie. (I've also found that if you don't have any of these, these cookies taste just as great baked on a flat cookie sheet, though the base will be much thinner.)
And the result? Exceptionally perfect, baked jam atop a wonderfully almond crumbly cookie that melts in your mouth with an innovative stresual topping. And what's really great about these cookies is that they are so versatile! You can put virtually anything on them like jam or nutella, and you can also do infinite things with the base as well, add coconut, lemon or lime zest, or wherever your mind might take you! I cannot stress enough how wonderful these cookies are, and I encourage you to make them, right now! Sadly, mine are already gone (even the second batch of batter), so if you make some, please holler!
And Dorie: If you ever come across this post, please know, I am a huge, huge fan. I love how you are so masterful at your craft, but you still choose to make it so accessible to even the lowliest of us cooks. Thank you for your fabulous personality, work and love. :)
Dorie Inspired Jammers by J and N
* In order to make these, they are best if you can use a pan with sides so that the cookie is forced to retain shape rather than flatten. Dorie used ring molds. L+D used a whoppie pie pan. I used a mini loaf pan. And I imagine you can use a number of other pans with the same outcome (albeit different shapes and sizes) - muffin pan, cupcake pan, souffle cups, individual-sized tart tins, etc. If you don't have any of these, you can also just use a regular old cookie sheet. Even though the base of the jammers will flatten and the sides won't crisp up, they are still delicious this way too!
Sable Cookies (Via NYTimes)
- 1 stick and 6 tablespoons butter, softened at room temp.
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt or salt
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 1/2 cup ground almonds (I measured 1/2 cup toasted almonds the grounded it in a food processor)
- 2 cups all purpose flour
Jam: use whatever jar of jam you prefer!
Streusal Topping (L+D Dorie's Jammers w/ a few changes)
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/4 light brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- pinch of cinnamon
- 1/4 slice almonds
- 4 tablespoons butter (cubed)
Working in a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter at medium speed until it is smooth and very creamy. Add the sugars and salt and continue to beat until smooth and velvety, not fluffy and airy, about 1 minute. Reduce the mixer speed to low and beat in 2 egg yolks, vanilla extract, almond extract and ground almonds, again beating until well blended.
Turn off the mixer, pour in the flour, drape a kitchen towel over the mixer and pulse the mixer about 5 times at low speed for 1 or 2 seconds each time. Take a peek; if there is still a lot of flour on the surface of the dough, pulse a couple of more times; if not, remove the towel. Continuing at low speed, stir for about 30 seconds more, just until the flour disappears into the dough and the dough looks uniformly moist. If you still have some flour on the bottom of the bowl, stop mixing and use a rubber spatula to work the rest of it into the dough. (The dough will not come together in a ball -- and it shouldn't. You want to work the dough as little as possible. What you're aiming for is a soft, moist, clumpy dough. When pinched, it should feel a little like Play-Doh.)
Scrape the dough onto a work surface, gather it into a ball. Form the dough into a flattened disk. Wrap the disk well and chill them for at least 2 hours. The dough may be kept in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 2 months.
When ready to bake, center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease whatever pan you are using to make your jammer. Line your pan with parchment paper or grease really well. If you are using a loaf, muffin, or something similar pan, take bits of the chilled dough and press it into the base of whatever pan you are using. Try to make sure that you are putting about the same amount of dough into each individual pan so that the cookies will all bake evenly. As you are doing this, also make sure to build the sides of your cookie higher than the middle so that the jam has somewhere to go and won't get all over your lovely pan. If you are using a cookie sheet, ring molds, etc. Roll out your dough so that it is about 1/2 inch tall. Then cut whatever shapes you'd like your cookies to be. Create an indentation in the middle of your cookies so that the edges are slightly higher than th middle of the cookie. (As a reference, I used about 3/4 of a batch of dough for 8 mini-loaf sized cookies. According to Dorie's recipe, half a batch of dough should make about 20 small-ish cookies.
While the dough is being cooled, make your stresual topping! Pour flour, brown sugar, suga, salt and cinnamon into a small bowl and mix with a fork. Add in the almonds and butter. Using a pastry cutter, two knives or a fork, blend in the butter with the dry mixture to form a stresual topping. The mixture will be crumbly and will still have bits of butter in tact.
Once your cookies are rolle/pressed out, spoon your choice of jam into the center of the cookie. Spread it out so that the jam reaches toyour raised edges; this amount really depends on the size of your cookie. For my mini-loaf pan, I used about 1 1/2 - 2 tablespoons for each cookie. Then sprinkle however much streusal topping you'd like over the top. Bake for 17 to 20 minutes or until the edges of the cookies are lightly brown. Rotate the baking sheet at the halfway point. Let the cookies rest 1 or 2 minutes before carefully lifting them onto a cooling rack with a wide metal spatula.