These fun slice and bake cherry jammers are festive and delicious. A perfect treat for the holidays! I love the corn meal crunchy/chewiness and cherry jam together– it’s like a bite of cherry pie. Awesome! Because these are icebox cookies (i.e., the dough can be kept in the freezer until you are ready to bake), they are perfect for when you need a warm cookie at a moment’s notice for yourself or unexpected company. This recipe is a little more involved than your average cookie recipe, but it is SO worth it. I even impressed myself with this one.
Begin by making the filling. Using some sort of blender, (I used my emersion blender, but a food processor would work as well) coarsely puree the sugar, dried tart cherries and sour cherry jam or preserves (I used preserves). Cook this mixture in a small saucepan until it boils, then remove from the heat and add the vanilla extract. Transfer the puree to a small bowl until it cools.
Just a little side note—I think a mixture made from dried blueberries and blueberry jam, or any number of other dried fruit and jam combinations would be excellent. For this time of year, I chose cherry, because the red from the cherry jam gives the cookie a holiday look.
Next, cream the butter, sugar, egg and vanilla.
Whisk the dry ingredients together. I also added ½ teaspoon of orange zest. It just sounded good.
Combine the two mixtures and voila, you have cookie dough.
Another side note – I used Hodgson Mill Stone Ground Yellow Corn Meal in my dough for two reasons. First, it’s stone ground. That may not seem like a big deal until you look closely and see all of the little bits of actual corn in the meal. A different brand of corn meal I had used in the past looked like uniform yellow powder. Because this recipe takes a bit of time, I want the best ingredients I can get my hands on – namely some corn in my corn meal.
Second, it’s all natural corn meal. So even though it’s not from the wheat family, I’m still getting the added flavor and nutrition of whole grains in my cookies. You may think you have corn meal in your pantry, but take a closer look and see if you can find any corn in the meal. It’s kind of an “ah ha” moment.
Back to the cookies. Separate the dough into four portions. I put mine on some parchment paper.
Tear off eight additional parchment pieces, about the size of a sheet of notebook paper, and get out a ruler. Using your fingers, shape one of the dough balls into a log, about nine inches long, on one of the pieces of parchment.
Put another piece of parchment paper on top of the log and roll the dough out into a 3 ½ x 9-inch rectangle. Mine turned out more like a long oval – that’s okay. Set this parchment with rolled dough aside and repeat with the remaining dough and paper. Stack the four parchment dough rectangles/ovals on a cookie sheet and freeze for about 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes of freezer time, carefully peel back the parchment on one dough rectangle and spread one-third of the cherry mixture on top. Peel back a second rectangle and put it on top of the first, remove the parchment and spread with another third of jam. See above photo. Repeat layering, leaving the top layer jam-free.
Trim the sides of the dough to resemble more of a rectangle shape. Don’t throw away the scraps!
Cut the long scraps into two pieces each and smush together. Then add the end scraps to each side and smush a little more. This will be your sample cookie dough that can be baked and eaten right away, saving the larger, more perfectly layered dough to impress your guests. Wrap both dough logs in plastic and freeze for an hour—or up to a month in a plastic freezer bag—if you want to wait until later to do your baking.
After an hour in the freezer, unwrap the dough and cut it into ¼ -inch slices; only cutting as many as will fit on your baking sheets. Rewrap the dough and stick it back in the freezer while the cut slices bake.
Place the slices on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. I’m so impressed with myself. Look at how great these look! This is definitely an eye-catching cookie.
Bake at 350o F for 10 – 13 minutes or until light golden brown around the edges.
You can see the bits of corn and some of the orange rind in the baked cookies. I’m getting hungry just looking at them!
These slice and bake cherry jammers have made their way up to the top of our favorite cookie list. My husband has mentioned more than once how much he likes them and my kids made a beeline to the cookie jar as soon as they got home from school. I baked all of my cookies this time around, but I am definitely going to make some more for my freezer. You never know when a cookie craving will come on or friends will stop over during the holiday season. Impress your guests, family and yourself by baking up some of these cookies. They are fantastic. Enjoy!
Slice and Bake Cherry Jammers
¾ cup dried sour cherries
1/3 cup sour cherry jam or preserves (I used preserves)
1 Tablespoon sugar
1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ¼ cups Hodgson Mill Naturally White Flour
½ cup Hodgson Mill Stone Ground Yellow Corn Meal
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon grated orange zest
8 Tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Using a blender (I used an immersion blender) or food processor, coarsely puree the cherries, jam and sugar. Cook in a small saucepan until it comes to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract. Place in small bowl to cool.
Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla. Mix to combine. In another bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt and orange zest. Add to butter mixture. Mix to combine. Split dough into four equal portions. Place one portion between two pieces of parchment paper and roll out to a 3 ½ x 9-inch rectangle. Repeat with remaining dough. Place on a baking sheet and freeze for 30 minutes.
Remove dough from freezer and carefully peel back top pieces of parchment from dough. Spread 1/3 cup cherry mixture over one portion of dough. Invert second rectangle over the first and remove parchment on top. Repeat layering process, leaving the top rectangle uncoated. Trim to a resemble more of a rectangle shape. Cut and press scraps together to make a second, smaller rectangle. Wrap both in plastic wrap and freeze for an hour or up to a month, depending on when you want to bake.
Preheat oven to 350˚F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Slice dough into ¼ inch thick rectangles and place on baking sheets. Space about 2 ½ inches apart.
Bake until light golden brown around the edges, 10 to 13 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Store in an airtight container for up to two weeks.
Adapted from Martha Stewart