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Merry Berry Cookies

1 1/2 cups butter (3 sticks), melted
2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup melted berry jam (raspberry, blackberry, strawberry, etc.)
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
4 cups flour (not sifted)

1/3 cup granulated sugar (for later)
1/3 cup berry jam (for later)

Melt the butter in a large microwave-safe bowl.  Add the sugar and mix thoroughly.  Let stand while you do the next step.

Melt the jam in the microwave or in a saucepan over low heat.  Once it's the consistency of syrup, mix it in with the butter & sugar.

Add the eggs, baking soda, and salt, stirring after each addition.

Add the flour and mix thoroughly.  Cover up the bowl and chill for at least 2 hrs. (overnight is even better).

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. with rack in middle position.

Roll the chilled dough into small walnut-sized balls.  Put 1/3 cup sugar in a small bowl and roll the balls in it.  Place them on a greased cookie sheet, 12 cookies per standard sheet.  Flatten the dough balls with a greased spatula.  Make a small indentation with your thumb or index finger in the center of each cookie.  Fill the indentation with about 1/8 tsp of jam.

Bake the cookies for 10 to 12 minutes at 350 degrees.  Let them cool for 2 minutes on the cookie sheet, then transfer them to a wire rack to finish cooling.

Yield: 8 to 10 dozen, depending on cookie size.


From the short story "Candy for Christmas" by Joanne Fluke, which was included as a bonus in the book Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder, the first Hannah Swensen mystery.
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