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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Rich Jelly Bar Cookies

This cookie recipe dates back to my early childhood.  I fondly remember my mom making them every Christmas for our family.  About fifteen years ago, I asked my mom for the recipe and I have baked them every Christmas since.  We enjoy the festive color of the white cookie with the red raspberry filling.

2/3 cup sugar
3/4 cup margarine or butter
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 1/4 cups flour
Jam or Jelly for filling (Raspberry Preserves work best)

  1. Cream sugar and margarine, add egg, baking powder, vanilla, and nutmeg – mix well.
  2. While slowly mixing, add the flour until incorporated.
  3. Divide dough into four equal portions.
  4. Line cookie sheet(s) with parchment paper.
  5. Roll each portion into a long log, arrange two rolls to a cookie sheet, and flatten rolls into strips that fit the length of your cookie sheet.
  6. Create a grove down the center of each strip (I use a table knife handle).  Be careful that you do not make the grove too deep or the cookies will break.
  7. Fill the grove with Jam.
  8. Bake at 250 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes.
  9. Remove from oven and move parchment paper with cookies to metal cooling rack, let completely cool.
  10. Cut cookies about 1 inch wide on the diagonal.
The biggest problem I have had in making this recipe is finding raspberry jam that includes seeds.  Using seedless jelly does not produce the same cookie.  Several years ago, I purchased a jar of jam (jam has seeds, and jelly does not – or so I though), it turns out that most jams now have no seeds, now I purchase raspberry preserves that include the seeds.

It took several years of trial and error to find the best implement to make the groves down the cookie dough strips.  I tried bamboo chopsticks and other implements until I started using the blunt end of the table knife.  When I make the grove, I use the knife held at about a 45 degree angle and press it repeatedly down into the dough about 1 /4 inch deep, moving the knife down the strip about 1/8 of an inch every press.  Once I make the initial grove, I lightly draw the knife along the grove to smooth out the rough edges.

Fill the grove by spooning jam from the jar into the grove with two spoons.  The first spoon to get the jam from the jar and the other spoon to scrape the jam into the grove and to smooth out any lumps in the jam.

In the past, I moved the baked cookies strips from the pan to the cooling rack using a large spatula, which led to cracks, splits, and breaks, but I have found that just sliding the entire parchment paper from the cookies sheet to the cooling rack keeps the cookie strips intact.

These cookies are a fun and easy cookie to make.  The sweetness and flavor of the raspberry the jam complements the nutmeg in the cookie and makes a great combination.  This cookie will continue to be on my “nice” list.

Adventures In Food: Author: Kerry Howell

1 comment:

  1. I also have this recipe form my mother. My recipe calls for 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes, however.
    I agree that a knife handle is the best way to make the channel in the dough, however, I have found that using a pastry tube works better for the filling. (Use a large size tip). I also make these with apricot, cherry, or peach preserves. They are delicious no matter what filling you use.