Pinay Cook Book: Raspberry Blizzard Jewel Cookies
I like to bake up large batches of assorted Christmas cookies. I share them at Christmas cookie swaps or give these as a gifts to my family, friends, coworkers and neighbors. When I was young, my mom and I would bake christmas cookies, some of them had elaborate sugar and frosting decor, and then we’d give them away to all my cousins.
Baking is a tradition I took on when I was a little girl. It’s something my mom taught me—from simple cookie recipes to jelly rolls, black forest cake, sans rival and braso de mercedes… even piped icing techniques and roses made with frosting. Mom has baked since she was a little girl too. Although now I rarely bake, Christmas is still the time I put on my apron and do what my mom does.
I now bake my own special recipe for these red jelly cookies that taste so light and buttery and look like ruby gems encircled with snow! They almost taste like linzer cookies but they are simpler, without the nut ingredient and roasting. Here’s my recipe for:
Raspberry Blizzard Jewel Cookies
- 4 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
- 3/4 tsp baking powder for soft cookies OR up to 2 1/2 tsp for crunchy brojas-like versions
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature, and cut into small cubes
- 1/2 cup raspberry jelly, seedless
- 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
A photo posted by Perla Daly (@bagongpinay) on
- Cookie baking sheets (I use 3 and cycle them, one in oven, one cooling down, one being loaded up)
- Spatula with clean edge.
- Cookie gun—I use the wreath die disks. Cookie gun can be electronic or hand, twist, squeeze or pump. I’ve tried all kinds. Find the one you like.
- Tool to dispense jelly—this can be a classic pastry bag with a thin metal tip, or a plastic baggie with a small cut on the corner. I like to use a condiment bottle with a thin nozzle.
- Sifter or wire strainer for confectioners’ sugar.
- Wire rack
- For the powdering setup, an extra baking pan or wax paper.
- Prepare the jelly. If you are using homemade jelly, cool it down and make sure it consistently holds. Place the jelly into the tool you are using for squeezing small amounts into the cookie center. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Mix flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl, then sprinkle over the vanilla extract. Crack egg into mixture. Add butter. With your clean hands mix and squeeze it all up until you get a dough. Try not to knead it too much or the cookies will come out tough and dense.
- Use a cookie press to layout cookies on a cookie sheet—about 1-2 inches apart. For jelly cookies I want to press out dough that comes out as a complete circular shape with dough filling up the center, so I do about 2.5-3 squeezes/twists/pumps—depends on the cookie gun. This way, the jelly filling will sit on cookie dough and not on the baking pan.
- After the cookie dough is laid out on pan, squeeze nice tidy small round mounds into the raspberry jelly into the centers. Do not let the jelly overflow outside of the center. The jelly will melt and spread wider while baking in the oven.
- Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes. You want a light golden color.
- Prep the powdering station, while the cookies are baking. Place the wire rack onto a wide baking pan or unto two pieces of wax paper. Note: You want the edges of the baking sheet or wax paper to be wider than the wire rack to catch the spill of the sprinkled confectioners’ sugar so you have fewer cleanups later.
- Take baking sheet out of the oven and with a spatula transfer the hot cookies to the wire rack. Let the cookies cool completely cool for at least 30 minutes. Sift the confectioners sugar lightly and evenly onto the cookies. You want to cover them just until the jelly becomes white. Later the jelly moistens the sugar and they become red and shiny again—like rubies—that’s why I call these jewels. Transfer your finished Raspberry Blizzard Jewels to a pretty plate and serve.
TIPS FOR BEST RESULTS AND EASY CLEANUP:
- Squeeze/shoot the dough onto an ungreased cookie sheet.
- When mixing the cookie dough, stop right when it gets mixed and you see no more flour. What you don’t want is for sugar crystals to melt in the warmth in your hands but rather in the oven when they’re backing. That way, when you bake the cookies, the sugar crystals melt away and create tiny air pockets—so when you bite the cookies, they come out light and buttery.
- Practice pressing out cookies. Since I only bake these cookies once a year, I usually need to get the feel of the cookie press/gun again. Just return practice dough back to dough ball and run it through the press again later.
- The easiest time to transfer cookies from the baking pan is when they are fresh out of the oven, otherwise if they cool down on the baking sheet too much, they become harder to slide off the pan, even with a good spatula.
- When you start cycling out the cookie sheets, use your spatula to scrape up all the extra crumbs encrusted on the pan so that they don’t get embedded on the bottom of the next set of cookies.
- You can refrigerate the cookie dough. If you want, you can make the dough ahead of time and keep it in the fridge, and then later take out the dough. Just experiment to see if you like to squeeze the dough out of your cookie press at room temperature or if it doesn’t matter.
- Store the cookies level and flat in an airtight container. I layer the cookies carefully on top of each other when putting in a wide container. This way the jelly centers don’t mess up and always look pretty.
[Changes: Fixed typo December 20, 2014, added the baking powder ingredient above.]
Omehra is also known as Inday Perla, Perla Daly, BagongPinay and NewFilipina.
She has been publishing websites to empower Filipinos for 20 years. More about her art, blogs, events, publishing and organizations at BagongPinay.
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