Christmas traditions are sacred to me. These are the things that make a certain time of year feel like a holiday. They make a memory tangible and the best part is they can be old or they can be new. The important thing is that you remember. My little Trio cookies are a new tradition; this is the second year I have made them and they say "Christmas is here!" I love them because they look so festive and especially because they are delicious.
I'll be sharing more of the cookies and candy I grew up with; these are particularly dear to my heart. It's all about the memories that are attached to and blended in with them. Just because these cookies are a new addition into my baking repertoire doesn't mean they shouldn't be on your cookie tray.... soon. The dough is a simple sugar cookie with a generous pinch of salt that balances the buttery richness and the jammy centers. And to be honest with you, I have a hard time staying out of it. Have I mentioned before that I'm a cookie dough fiend? It's true. I love it.
These cookies are perfect for a cookie making party with friends. The process takes a little time, so dividing up the steps and talking at the same time will make it seem like no chore at all while rolling teaspoon-sized balls of dough and then filling them with three different jams. I can have a short attention span with some things, but it's proof of how much I love these cookies that I'll go through this whole process myself, not once but several times in the holiday season. That's how good they are.
You'll have lots of jam and preserves... it's up to you what you do with the rest. It'll make a whole lot of batches of these cookies, but you'll need a lot. The first batch will be for yourself because you won't be able to stop eating them once you try the first one. Then you will want to make more to share because they're way too good to keep to yourself. They really are the perfect gift to give. Or you could make yourself a bagel with cream cheese and jam-- one of my favorite breakfasts. This could lead to a whole new post about what to do with leftover preserves. But really, the best thing is to make more cookies with them. You can never have too many jewel-toned confections for Christmas.
makes about 3 1/2 dozen
2 1/2 c. flour
1 t. salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 c. sugar
1 t. vanilla extract
About 2 T. seedless raspberry jam
About 2 T. apricot preserves
About 2 T. strawberry preserves
Make dough: Whisk together flour and salt. Beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy, about 4 minutes, then beat in egg and vanilla. At low speed, mix in flour mixture in 3 batches just until a dough forms. Divide dough in half and form each into a 6-inch disk, then chill, wrapped in plastic wrap, until firm, about 1 hour.
Assemble cookies: Preheat oven to 350 degrees with rack in middle. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Roll 3 separate level teaspoons of dough into a ball, then flatten each slightly (to 1 inch wide and less than 1/2 inch thick). Arrange them in a triangle on baking sheet with edges touching in center, then make a deep indentation in center of each round with handle of a wooden spoon. Make more cookies, arranging them 1 inch apart on sheets. Fill indentations in each cookie with about 1/8 t. jam (each cookie should have 3 different fillings), avoiding any large pieces of fruit. Bake until cookies are baked through and golden-brown on edges, 15-20 minutes. Cool on sheets 5 minutes, then transfer to racks to cool completely. Bake more batches on cooled baking sheets lined with fresh parchment.