Jam-filled Holiday Wreath Cookies
Friends! I’ve been in a very different place for the past year, and I honestly thought I’d be way more present on here than I was. But the reality of my situation was that I was working two jobs, and putting in hours significantly higher than a full time job. My creative energy was all being poured into this work, and I was being paid for it, too, which was, I gotta admit, a nice change.
But after a year of creating content for someone else, it’s time to reclaim my creativity, and I’m making some pretty drastic changes. I’ll fill you in on more of this later, because at this moment, there’s something more pressing at hand, and that is: COOKIES.
When I first launched my business 15 years ago, I was broke. Like brokety-broke-broke-broke. Launching a business takes time and money, and it takes a while for you to start seeing a profit. I did make it into the black in my first year, which was amazing, but it took me a few years to really get established financially.
I wanted to do something for my clients in those first years, something to show them my appreciation for choosing me to work with them, but, again, I didn’t really have money. But what I did have was mad baking skills and ingredients, so I made loads and loads of cookies and dropped them off as a gesture of appreciation.
But then something kinda cool happened–people, as it turned out, really appreciated my homemade gifts, so even when I could afford something more, I kept doing that.
There are a few recipes I make every year that are the most popular ones.
I have two recipes to add to that list this year. One is vegan, and the other is not, but they are, essentially, riffs on the same theme.
I was recently inspired by a visit to Granville Island and a relatively new business called The Preservatory Provisions & Toast Bar. An outpost of Vista D’oro Winery in Langley Township, they figured out a second stream of income by taking the fruit that they grow in their vineyard, and turning it into tasty preserves, all of which have a boozy twist. The Plum Vanilla and Star Anise has long been a favourite of mine with a baguette and some nice cheese.
While chowing down on a thick hunk of fresh sourdough bread (sourced from Nelson the Seagull), toasted with whipped ricotta, lemon zest, pomegranate seeds, olive oil, fresh mint and Raspberry Merlot & Peppercorn preserves, I had a flash of inspiration. If there’s one thing I love, it’s combining the sweet and the savoury. So, why not incorporate savoury elements into the sweet cookie, and then pair it with the jam?
Et voila! Jam-filled Holiday Wreath Cookies! You can use any jam you have on hand, but bear in mind that different herbs pair well with certain fruits. Here, I used lavender to echo the lavender in the jam: Crabapple Lavender & Gin. Ground up juniper berries would also probably work well here, to echo the juniper in the gin.
Plus, how Christmassy is Crabapple?? And juniper? They’re so cute and they look like little wreaths dusted with snow.
I think anyone would be delighted to get these as a gift.
Tune in again next time for the vegan version of this recipe!
Jam-filled Holiday Wreath CookiesRebecca Coleman
- Stand mixer
- 3/4 cup butter softened
- 1 cup sugar granulated (white)
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 cups all purpose flour (plus extra for rolling out)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2-1 tbsp dried lavender
- 1/2 cup jam
- Icing sugar garnish
- In the bowl of your stand mixer, place the butter and the sugar. Using the paddle attachment, beat together well for 3-4 minutes. If you don't have a stand mixer, you can just use a hand held mixer.
- Add the egg and vanilla and beat well until incorporated, about 1 minute.
- Add the lavender, salt and baking powder, and mix briefly. Add one cup of flour and mix 20-30 seconds , then add the second cup and mix just until all the flour is incorporated.
- Remove the dough from the mixer and shape into a disc. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator for at least an hour or two, but ideally overnight.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Remove from the fridge and cut in half. Flour your work surface and the top of the dough, and then roll it out to about 1/8" to 1/4" thickness.
- Using a cookie cutter, cut rounds of the dough out and place them on a baking sheet. They cookies will not spread much, so they only need about 1" of space between them. Now, using a smaller round cutter, cut out the middles of half of the cookies.
- Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for about 9-10 minutes until they are dull. You don't want them to be golden, just maybe a little on the edges. Remove from oven, and once cool enough to handle, remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Microwave your jam for about 30 seconds, just to make it more easily spreadable. Lay your rounds out on your work surface, and top each one with a dollop of jam, using the back of the spoon to spread it out. Top each one with a cookie with a hole.
- Sift icing sugar over top of all the cookies.
- Store in an airtight container for up to a week, or in the freezer for up to a month.