A few weeks ago, my uncle came home from a thrift store with a new cookbook. He boasted about paying $2 for a book with hundreds of recipes for cookies, cakes, and desserts. Well, I love looking at cookbooks, so of course I started flipping through it right when I saw it. It really didn’t have any crazy recipes in it, just your regular chocolate chip cookies, brownies…common things. After flipping a few pages I saw a cookie called a split second, something I’ve never heard of before.
These are basically jam-filled shortbread log that you cut into individual cookies. I have no idea why I’ve never heard of these before, because a quick Google search showed lots and lots of recipes for them. Maybe because they’re popular on Christmas cookie plates, and well, I’ve never been part of that Christmas cookie baking tradition they’re brand new to me? Anyway, it was decided that I just had to make these cookies. I’m not sure why, since they’re pretty simple cookies. Usually when I find recipes I just have to make, they take at least three days and have four different components to them. Though they would be a good way to show off my homemade blueberry and fig jams.
So, I went home and took out all the ingredients from my pantry, only to notice that I was out of butter. Really?! No butter in my freezer? It was nuts. I was mad, but then realized maybe it was meant to be, maybe I should be baking something a little more complicated. But nope, after days of still thinking about these cookies, I bought some butter and got to work.
These cookies are super easy to make and very yummy! They really just take a “split second” to make, and you get a bite of buttery goodness, along with sweet jam in every cookie without filling each individual one. Just slice and serve. Of course, they’ll never replace hamentaschen as our favorite jelly-filled cookie, but they’ll do.
My version of these cookies is a little fancier than the original, so fine, they take a little longer, but you can still do them during nap time, so they’re a win for me! I used a scraped vanilla bean instead of extract because I just love how the seeds look in the light colored dough. And I added some lemon zest to freshen the flavor, and because I think the lemon goes well with the blueberry jam I used.
Split Seconds, adapted from Pillsbury:
- 1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 vanilla bean
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
- Pinch of salt
- 1/2 cup of your favorite jam
1. In the bowl of your stand mixer, cream the butter and the sugar with the vanilla bean on medium speed, until light and fluffy.
2. Split the vanilla bean in half and scrape out the seeds with the back of your knife.
3. Add the egg to the mixer.
4. Mix until combined, scraping down the sides if necessary.
5. Add the flour, baking powder, and lemon zest and mix until the dough comes together.
6. Knead the dough so it forms a ball and chill in the fridge for 20-30 minutes.
7. Remove dough from fridge and split into four equal portions.
8. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper (or a Silpat).
9. Roll each dough into a 10-inch long log, and flatten each a bit.
10. Using the edge of a wooden spoon or a tiny cylinder (I use the glass case a vanilla bean comes in) or your fingers, make a moat in the middle of each log. This is where the jam will go.
11. Fill each moat with about 2 tablespoons of jam.
12. Chill for 30 minutes.
13. Bake for 15-20 minutes, rotating the trays halfway through.
14. Let cool completely.
15. Slice cookies 3/4 inch apart on a diagonal.
16. Serve on a pretty plate that has nothing to do with Christmas. Enjoy!