A classic jam filled cookie with a vanilla sable crust!
There’s a lot going on in this cookie, and all of it is great. You’ll recognize the Classic Jammer construction. But while the cookie is my beloved French Vanilla Sablé (such a good team player), the streusel has cornmeal and the jam is a mix of spicy mulled red wine, dried cherries, raisins, and cranberries, with store-bought cherry jam to pull it all together. It is one of my all-time favorite cold-weather cookies.
A word on timing: Each of the elements in this recipe has to cool or be chilled before you can use it. Make the dough first and get it rolled out and chilled. Then move on to the streusel, pop that into the fridge, and make and cool the jam. The best move—if you can swing it—is to make everything a day or two ahead. Then, on baking day, making these beautiful cookies will be quick work.
A word on quantity: You may have some of the mulled-wine jam left over—it’s hard to make a smaller quantity of this—but you won’t be sorry.
MAKES ABOUT 24 COOKIES
2 sticks (8 ounces; 226 grams) unsalted butter, cut into chunks, at room temperature
½ cup (100 grams) sugar
¼ cup (30 grams) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
2 large egg yolks, at room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 cups (272 grams)
sanding sugar, for sprinkling
FOR THE STREUSEL
²⁄3 cup (91 grams) all-purpose flour
1⁄3 cup (53 grams) yellow cornmeal
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
5 tablespoons (2½ ounces; 71 grams) cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
FOR THE JAM
small piece of cinnamon stick (2 to 3 inches)
2 points from a star anise
2 whole cloves
1¼ cups (300 ml) fruity red wine (I like a California Syrah)
1 tablespoon honey
2 strips orange or tangerine peel (or 1 orange or tangerine slice)
½ cup (70 grams) plump, moist dried cherries, coarsely chopped
½ cup (60 grams) plump, moist dried cranberries, coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons plump, moist raisins
1⁄3 cup (108 grams) thick, fruity best-quality cherry jam
- To make the streusel: You can make the streusel by hand or in a mixer. I prefer to use a stand mixer, but fingers are fine.
- Whisk the flour, cornmeal, both sugars, the cinnamon, and salt together in the mixer bowl or a large mixing bowl. Drop in the cubes of cold butter and toss all the ingredients together with your fingers until the butter is coated.
- If you’re working with a mixer, fit it with the paddle attachment and mix on medium-low speed until the ingredients form moist, clumpy crumbs. Squeeze the streusel, and it will hold together. Reaching this stage takes longer than you think it will—you might have to mix for 10 minutes or more. Sprinkle over the vanilla and mix until blended. Or, if you’re working by hand, squeeze, mash, mush, or otherwise rub everything together but the vanilla until you have a bowlful of moist clumps and curds. Squeeze the streusel, and it will hold together. Sprinkle over the vanilla and toss to blend.
- Pack the streusel into a covered container and refrigerate for at least 1 hour; 3 hours would be better.
- For the jam: First, mull the wine. Tie the spices together in cheesecloth to make a little hobo bag. Toss the sachet into a medium saucepan, add the wine, honey, and citrus (peel or fruit), and bring to a boil over medium heat. Lower the heat and let the mixture simmer gently, uncovered, for 10 minutes.
- Add the dried fruits, cook and stir frequently over low heat until most of the liquid evaporates, about 8 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the heat, pick out and discard the spice bag and the citrus, and stir in the cherry jam. Scrape the mixture into a bowl and cool to room temperature (you can do this in the refrigerator, if you’d like). If you’re not using the jam now, cover it tightly and refrigerate until needed.
- For the vanilla sables: Working with a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, beat the butter, both sugars, and the salt on medium speed for about 3 minutes, scraping the bowl as needed. The mixture should be smooth but not fluffy. Reduce the mixer speed to low and, one by one, beat in the yolks, followed by the vanilla. Turn off the mixer, add the flour all at once and pulse the mixer until the risk of flying flour has passed. With the machine on low, mix just until the flour disappears into the dough. Give the dough a couple of turns with a sturdy flexible spatula.
- Turn the dough out onto the counter and divide it in half. Gather each piece into a ball and shape into a disk.
- Working with one piece of dough at a time, roll the dough ¼ inch thick between pieces of parchment. Slide the parchment-sandwiched dough onto a baking sheet — you can stack the slabs — and freeze for at least 1 hour, or refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
- To bake: Center a rack in the oven and preheat it to 350ºF. Butter or spray a regular muffin tin, or two tins, if you’ve got them. Have a 2-inch-diameter cookie cutter at hand.
- Working with one sheet of dough at a time, peel away both pieces of parchment paper and put the dough back on one piece of paper. Cut the dough and drop the rounds into the muffin tin(s). Save the scraps from both pieces of dough, then gather them together, re-roll, chill, and cut. Don’t worry if the dough doesn’t completely fill the cups, it will once it’s baked.
- Spread about 1 teaspoon jam over the top of each cookie, leaving a slim border. Spoon or sprinkle enough streusel over each sablé to cover it (and the jam).
- Bake the cookies for 20 to 22 minutes, turning the tin(s) after 11 minutes, or until the streusel and the edges of the cookies are golden brown; the jam may bubble, and that’s fine. Leave the cookies in the tin(s) for about 15 minutes before transferring them to a rack to cool to room temperature.
- Repeat with the remaining dough, making certain that the tins are cool.
- To store: The mulled-wine jam will keep, tightly covered, for a few weeks in the refrigerator. The streusel can be kept for up to 2 weeks in the fridge and up to 2 months in the freezer. The cookies can be assembled, wrapped airtight, and frozen for up to 2 months. Bake them straight from the freezer; they might need another minute or so in the oven. The baked cookies will keep covered at room temperature for up to 2 days and can be frozen for up to 2 months.
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