Tuesday, September 9, 2008

sandwich cookies with homemade pear vanilla jam.

Ever since making my first batch of freezer jam, I have had such a strong urge to make some more. I just reached my last jar of the mixed berry jam that I made two months ago so it was time to make my next batch. During our recent urban foraging adventure, along with some random fruit picking on my daily walks, I managed to acquire a massive amount of sweet yellow Asian pears. I have never had Asian pear jam, but the idea of it sounded like perfection. I came across a recipe for Pear Vanilla jam from Cooking Light and since I had some beautiful vanilla beans, I happily went for it.

The jam itself turned out wonderful. It came out a nice pale yellow color with little deep brown flecks of vanilla. But I admit, I had an ulterior motive when making this: jam sandwich cookies. I had been craving buttery shortbread-like cookies with homemade jam squished in between. And so, I had my well-spent morning in the kitchen. Alice came and joined me for some creative cookie cutting and all turned out lovely.

Pear-Vanilla Freezer Jam: from Cooking Light


4 cups coarsely chopped peeled Asian or Bartlett pears (about 5 large)
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
1 (1.75-ounce) package pectin crystals
4 cups sugar


Place pear in a food processor; pulse until finely chopped. Place pear, rind, juice, and vanilla bean in a large saucepan. Stir in pectin. Place pan over high heat; bring to a boil. Stir in sugar; cook 5 minutes or until sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil; cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Skim foam from surface; discard. Remove vanilla bean. Scrape seeds into pear mixture; discard bean. Stir 5 minutes to ensure fruit is suspended in jam. Cover and chill overnight.

Refrigerate airtight containers up to three weeks, or freeze up to six months.

Jam Sandwich Shortbread Cookies


1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Your favorite jam


Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until fluffy. Gradually add sugars, beating well. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition.

Combine flour, baking powder, and salt: add to butter mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed after each addition until blended. Stir in vanilla extract. Divide dough into 2 equal portions; wrap each portion in plastic wrap to prevent drying out. Chill for 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Roll chilled cookie dough to 1/8-inch thickness on a lightly floured surface. Cut with a 2-inch round cutter, and place on greased baking sheets. Cut center from half of cookies with a 1-inch round cutter or cutter of your choice.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove to wire racks to cool. Spread 1/2 teaspoon jam on solid cookies; top with cutout cookies.


VeggieGirl said...

Gorgeous cookies; and what an innovative, delicious jam variety!

house and home said...

Super cute!

Nancy said...

Oh my! those look so yummy!

Manger La Ville said...

Wow, I can't believe you got that small little apple cut out in those cookies. They look amazing.

redmenace said...

Absolutely beautiful. Thanks for the inspiration. I love the blog!

Antonio Tahhan said...

the jam IS perfection!! The tiny little flecks are probably my favorite part of using vanilla beans, besides the taste of course!

Brilynn said...

Those are gorgeous!

I have a friend with a pear tree so I will have to snag some to make jam!

Aran said...

i love these too. i am actually in the process of making fid, pear and vanilla bean jam right now! lovely!

Irene said...

dear b&h: do you think the jam recipe would hold up under canning? or is this a freezer-only recipe?

Irene said...

Dear B&H, do you think the jam recipe would hold up under canning? Or is it a freezer-only recipe? Thanks!!