Fall is upon us, so it’s time to do some baking: the cookies of my childhood

Something has troubled me these past few days: the fall approaching. Lately, the weather has been unusually mild here in Chicago, with low overnight temperatures and highs in the ’70s. There’s something in the air, something that tells me fall is just around the corner. Too soon. Too fast. It’s the middle of August and I can already see the birds migrating, and I can hear their desperate cries as they fly to a warmer climate. Why does summer have to go away so quickly? I don’t know.

I tried to stay positive and to think happy thoughts as I faced this early arrival of the fall. My mom, who’s been here for about a month now, came up with the idea of doing some baking to cheer me up. She took out her recipe binder and we went over several recipes until we came across the one for jam cookies – the cookies of my childhood, as I like to call them. Mom used to bake these cookies very often when I was growing up because they were quick to make and very economical. I have vivid recollections of her running around the oven, taking out tray after tray of fresh-smelling cookies and putting new ones in, with an unstoppable energy and an infectious enthusiasm. She knew my dad and I loved these moist, melt-in-your-mouth cookies, so she made huge batches and tried to keep the cookie jars replenished at all times. I remember having a blast helping my mom to make these cookies. They were fun to bake – and lots more fun to eat!

Here is mom’s jam cookie recipe:

Ingredients

3 whole eggs

3 cups flour

7 tbsp granulated sugar

1 stick unsalted butter, which has been melted in the microwave for about 40-50 seconds

1 tbsp baking powder

2 tsp vanilla extract

Any fruit jam of your choice

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl using a hand mixer or your hands. Let the dough “rest” for at least 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 375F.

Roll the dough on a floured surface until 1/8 inch thick, then cut out various cookie shapes. Place the cookies on an aluminum foil or a cookie sheet on baking trays and bake for about 6-8 minutes or until light brown. The small cookies will bake very fast, so make sure you don’t leave the oven out of sight for long! Take the cookies out of the oven when they are done and let them cool down on a plate. 

Here’s the entire preparation process in a nutshell:

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When the cookies have cooled down you can start “gluing” them in pairs of two using the jam of your choice as a filling. I filled some with strawberry jam and others with peach jam. I also put some chocolate fudge topping in the microwave to liquidize it, and then drizzled it on top of the cookies.

You can eat these cookies straight away or you can wait till the next day. The more you wait, the more flavorful they get – and also incredibly moist, and light as a feather. With these cookies, it’s very difficult for me to wait an extra day or to exercise restraint – so if you can’t, don’t worry: I’ll understand. 🙂

I don’t know about you, but each time I look at pictures with these cookies I get some serious cravings, so I have to go into the kitchen and eat a few more. They really have a strange, magical power upon me. Could this be just another pregnancy symptom? Or maybe it’s their softness and moist deliciousness the one that drags me in? Or perhaps they’re magical because they mean so much to me? It must be all of these, and so much more.

I promised mom to make more cookies and to think less of the fall. Less pessimistic thoughts, and more creative baking – that’s my newly discovered motto 🙂


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