Almond-Butter & Honey-Sweetened Strawberry Jam Freezer (Yes, Freezer!) Cookies

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One of the most important things I learned from my Grandma Peg is something she never intended to teach me. She was insistent on the importance of grammar and manners (both of which I have never seen her falter on in all of my years). My love of pure rhubarb pie (no sweet strawberries added to muddle the tart goodness) is because of her baking skills. And on a good day, I have her smile and, on a bad day, I have her strength. This simple trick to keep my favorite treats on hand, however, is something she never meant to pass on, but has become an invaluable part of my life in the kitchen.

You see, my grandmother is notorious for hiding sweets in her freezer. Not having too great of a sweet tooth, never wasting anything, and enjoying a little indulgent treat every so often, she had devised a simple plan of keeping chocolates and candies cold until she got a craving or had company. I saw this unfold many times during my stays with her. She would get a wicked little grin on her face and dart into the kitchen only to return with a ice-cold sweet in hand.

AB&J Freezer Cookies//eatboutique.com

What did this teach me? Well, I don’t (typically) keep chocolates or candies in my freezer, as you may have guessed. Instead I took the ideas behind why my grandmother froze her treats and made them my own. I love cookies. No matter the shape, size, frosting, and filling, I crave them at all hours, but I don’t always have the time or energy to bake an entire batch. Enter grandma and her frozen goodies. I could have my cookies whenever I wanted; I just had to freeze them first.

AB&J Freezer Cookies//eatboutique.comAB&J Freezer Cookies//eatboutique.com

By freezing them right before baking, I could pop a few in the oven when I needed something sweet or when friends dropped by for an impromptu get-together. I have even been known to gift a bag–still frozen–to a friend who doesn’t have time to bake but is in need of a little care. My husband loves to have freshly-baked cookies when his sweet tooth comes calling, and I love them as a quick pick-me-up with a cup of tea after a long day. It’s also a wonderful way to try different types of cookies without having to bake off the entire batch. I can bake a few and save the rest for later. I know Grandma would be so proud.

I always keep a few different types of freezer cookies on hand, depending on the season, but these almond butter and jam cookies are hard to beat on any given day. The type of jam may change depending on my mood (anywhere from rhubarb for Grandma to black raspberry) and it might be homemade and honey-sweetened or something from the store. For this batch, I chose a honey-sweetened strawberry jam given to me by Maggie, and I plan on giving her a batch of these cookies as a thank you in return (but that’s our little secret).

AB&J Freezer Cookies//eatboutique.comAB&J Freezer Cookies//eatboutique.com

Since jam can be a bit loose and messy, I looked again to my trusty freezer to make it easier to handle. It’s an easy trick and does take a little extra time when making a batch, but is so worth it when trying to add the jam to the center of the dough. I decided to use maple sugar rather than traditional brown sugar because I like the way almonds and maple work together. If, however, you prefer brown sugar, I won’t hold it against you. Finally, you can swap almond butter for the familiar-childhood-favorite of peanut butter, but you might have to alter the amounts of flour.

Have fun making them. At the end of the day, they are just a cookie, and a frozen one at that, so you should follow suit and be totally chill (pun so intended) while making them. Enjoy!

AB&J Freezer Cookies//eatboutique.com

Almond Butter & Honey-Sweetened Jam Freezer Cookies

When using store-bought almond butter, I recommend reading the label and trying to find those with the fewest ingredients. If the type you’re buying adds sugar, you might want to start with a smaller amount of sugar than the recipe calls for to make sure the cookies aren’t too sweet.

Makes: 12 Cookies

Prep Time: 20 Minutes

Total Time: 5 Hours

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup jam, honey-sweetened or otherwise
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour or almond flour
  • 1 cup creamy almond butter
  • 3/4 cup maple sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place 12 dollops of 1/4 teaspoon of jam on the sheet. Freeze for at least 2 hours or overnight. You want the jam to be sturdy and not sticky.
  2. In a mixing bowl, beat the flour, almond butter, maple sugar, baking soda, and salt together at medium speed. Add the egg and vanilla, blending on low speed until incorporated. The dough should stick together when you pinch it between two fingers.
  3. Remove the jam from the freezer. Scoop 1 tablespoon of dough into your hand. Form a ball with a small indent in its center. Add a frozen ball of jam. Wrap the dough around the jam to form a ball. Place the cookie on the baking sheet, and repeat until all the dough has been used.
  4. If baking the cooking now, place them in the fridge to chill for at least 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350°F and then bake the cookies for 13 to 15 minutes, or until the cookies are golden brown and crinkled on top. Remove from the oven and let cool on the sheet.
  5. If freezing for later, place the baking sheet in the freezer and let set for at least 2 hours or overnight. Once the cookies are frozen, place them in a freezer bag and label them. When ready to bake, place a few cookies on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake at 350°F for 17 to 20 minutes, or until the cookies are golden brown and crinkled on top. Remove from the oven and let cool on the sheet.

Materials

  • Parchment paper
  • Tea towel
  • Plate
  • Twine
  • Tag

Directions

  1. Place the cookies on a folded sheet of parchment paper and set onto a plate. Wrap in a tea towel.
  2. Tie ribbon or twine around the towel-wrapped plate. Write a quick note on a tag and attach it.
Photos taken by Heidi Murphy/White Loft Studio

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Comments

  • Dani

    what a neat trick for filled cookies! thanks for the tip 🙂