Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Jam pockets

These are based on one of my all time favorite bakery cookies from my all time favorite no frills, no-fancy-cupcakes bakery. (Poul's* in Orange, for my SoCal readers). Sadly, I no longer live near said bakery, and I decided to buckle down and figure out how to make them myself.

The dough is only slightly sweet, with a delicate crumb and a soft texture. It's more like pie crust dough than sugar cookie dough, so I started with cold butter and cut it into the flour rather than creaming it with the sugar (FYI - creaming butter gives you a fluffy texture, whereas keeping it cold and cutting it in gives you a flakier texture). You could easily make these as thumbprint cookies, instead of pockets.

new cookies
Jam pockets (makes almost 2 dozen cookies, recipe from me)

2 cups flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup butter, cold & cut into cubes
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla

*In a food processor, combine the flour, sugar and salt until mixed. Toss in the butter and give it a few long buzzes, until it resembles coarse cornmeal. Toss in the egg and vanilla and buzz a couple more times, until a very soft dough forms. Wrap in Saran and refrigerate for a couple hours.

*Roll the dough out (about 1/8" thick, if you're fussy) and cut circles. I don't have a circle cookie cutter, so I just used a drinking glass. Add a dollop of jam to the middle of each circle and gently fold the edges inward, overlapping in the middle. Or you could just fold it into a half circle and completely close the pocket, but then you can't see what kind of jam you're getting before you bite into it.

*Bake in a 375 degree oven for about 10 minutes. The bottoms should be just faintly brown, the tops will not be. Cool and devour. Sprinkle with powdered sugar or superfine baker's sugar if desired.
I think I nailed it. These are soft and not too sweet, and the jam is the real star.

*I am completely in shock that Poul's even has a website. It is teeny tiny, located in a random strip mall, and appears to be most popular with blue haired people that drink endless cups of (incredibly cheap) coffee. But they have the best cookie selection ever. As much as I love cupcakes and french macarons, it makes me a little sad that the humble cookie is so underrated these days. Luckily, Poul's hasn't changed their options in 30 years, so we're safe there.


  1. Oh my goodness, these look easy enough for me to conquer! Maybe I'll do some baking for my company... we'll see :)

  2. i couldn't agree more! these remind me of hamentashen--my favorite--can't wait to try these!

  3. Wow, I'm so impressed with your baking knowledge! I would have no clue about the differences in doughs and how to make them!

  4. YESSSSS! The cookie is just a jam-delivery system. Excellent.

  5. thumbprint type cookies are my very favorite. the bakery here makes a thumbprint cookie and fills the indention with a butter mint mixture that is yummy too.

  6. these look like the perfect little treat for breakfast. i can only imagine what that flaky crust tastes like when dipped into a nice cup of tea.

  7. Mum used to make something similar with any left over pastry from whatever else she was baking. We always fought over them. These look delish!

  8. Ooh, I'm totally making these. I've been thinking that I need to expand my baking repertoire ...

  9. I still haven't forgiven you for the teacup.

  10. These sound perfect. With a little bit of tea during a quiet afternoon... heaven.

  11. hahaha! I totally remember Poul's bakery. Right by my old house in Orange. I actually remember when you were NHS president, and you told all of us to bring cookies to the banquet. But your rule was "No old halloween grocery store cookies" and you all requested we go to Poul's. I did, and I loved everything there! The thing I love about you is when you like something, you like it forever. You're loyal to the random stuff you like.

  12. oh. dear. god. these look fantastic!

    i'm going to have to try them asap and then share the recipe manically with everyone i know.

  13. Ah, these look the perfect thing to have with a nice cup of tea and they look pretty easy which is a bonus! I love the photo of them with your pretty cup! :)

  14. A vehicle for jam? um, sold! i'm a jam fiend (think joey on friends) and these look divine! plus every time you take a pic with your lovely tea cup in it, i fall just a little more in love with that piece. it's perfect!

  15. Sounds great, any idea of how much jam to have handy?


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