Cookies with Mr. T: Jelly Centers

Hello readers! For 1948, Gourmet magazine provides us with a recipe for jelly centers. The book says that these cookies are “exactly what you want when you’re in the mood to pamper yourself.” Don’t get carried away here, book editor. The end result wasn’t bad, but they didn’t really seem all that decadent to me. I will say, though, that this was a pretty easy recipe and didn’t require as many ingredients as some of the other ones I’ve done. So let’s get down to it.


Assemble the following ingredients (again, I am providing the given amounts, but I used 1/3 of everything to make a smaller batch):

1 cup butter 1 cup powdered or very fine granulated sugar 7 egg yolks (1 beaten) Pinch of salt Juice and rind of 1/2 lemon 3 cups flour Blanched almonds and sugar

1. Cream butter until it is light. You know the drill here by now. Make sure it is soft first.

2. Add gradually the powdered or granulated sugar. I went with powdered sugar here (which is also what the editors suggest). I poured it in gradually as the stand mixer was mixing. I think if you’re using a mixer, it probably doesn’t matter how gradually you pour it in.

squeeze that lemon

3. Add the egg yolks (one at a time), salt, and the juice and rind of the lemon. For the lemon, I squeezed in the juice and then used a grater for the rind. However you do it, be careful that you just get the yellow stuff. Apparently the white part (the pith) is quite bitter.

4. Gradually add the flour and stir or knead the dough until thoroughly blended. Now, when I had added all of the flour, I ended up with something more runny and past-like than cookie dough, so I added more flour and worked it with my hands until I got something more like dough. The directions call for chilling it for at least two hours. I ended up chilling it for more like five.

preparing to bake ready to bake

5. Roll the dough into uniform balls the size of marbles. The directions also say to flour your hands a bit, which obviously keeps the dough from sticking to them. Next, press a little indentation into each ball with your finger, paint them with the beaten egg yolk, and sprinkle the tops with the almonds, finely chopped, and sugar. I didn’t have a brush, so I just used a fork to put some egg yolk on there and spread it around. Following on my discussion in my last post, I did not blanch the almonds. I should, however, have chopped them up more finely than I did.

6. Put them on a cookie sheet greased with butter (which I didn’t do, mostly because I didn’t see it) and bake at 350 until golden brown. The recipe says it should take about 12 minutes, but it took mine about 18 minutes.

Fresh out the oven Nom nom

When you are ready to serve them, fill the indentations with jam or jelly. My problem was that the cookies rose, and so the indentations were pretty much gone by the time I took them out. I would assume that was a byproduct of me adding all the extra flour back in step four.

These cookies weren’t bad. They definitely need to jam or jelly or else they would be way too bland. Of course, the extra flour I added probably didn’t help with flavor.