Cherry Icebox Ribbons Recipe

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The Perfect CookiesLayered with vibrant ribbons of cherry jam, these buttery cookies have a striking appearance. But while their stripy aesthetic may look difficult to achieve, these are actually simple slice-and-bake cookies. We started by making a basic dough, which we enhanced with a touch of light brown sugar and vanilla and almond extracts, both of which complement cherry flavor. After rolling out the dough we stuck it in the freezer to firm up, then we cut it into strips, spread the filling over the top, and stacked the strips. After another brief stint in the freezer, the dough was ready to be sliced and baked. There was just one problem: The jam seeped out of the layers during baking. To maintain distinct layers, we briefly cooked the jam to thicken it a process that also concentrated its flavor. This helped, but the cookies still weren’t holding together neatly. We found we could eliminate seeping altogether by adding dried tart cherries to the jam before heating. The dried cherries plumped and thickened the mixture beautifully while also fortifying the tangy cherry flavor.

  • Yield: 40 Cookies


  • 0.33 cup (2⅓ ounces) granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 12 pieces and softened
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract
  • 1½ cups (7½ ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 0.66 cup dried tart cherries
  • 6 tablespoons cherry jam or preserves
How to Make It
  1. Process granulated sugar, brown sugar, and salt in food processor until no lumps of brown sugar remain, about 30 seconds. Add butter, egg yolk, vanilla, and almond extract and process until smooth and creamy, about 20 seconds, scraping down bowl as needed. Add flour and pulse until cohesive dough forms, about 20 pulses. Transfer dough to counter and pat into 5-inch square. Wrap square tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.
  2. Heat cherries and jam in small saucepan over medium heat until just bubbling; let cool completely, about 30 minutes. Process cherry mixture in clean, dry food processor until smooth, about 15 seconds.
  3. Roll dough between 2 pieces of parchment paper into 10-inch square, about ¼ inch thick. Freeze dough until firm, about 15 minutes. Cut chilled dough into four 2½-inch-wide strips. Spread cherry mixture evenly over 3 strips and stack strips, cherry mixture side up; place plain strip on top. Wrap dough tightly in plastic and freeze until firm, about 15 minutes.
  4. Adjust oven racks to upper-middle and lower-middle positions and heat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment. Slice chilled dough into ¼-inch-thick rectangles and space them 1 inch apart on prepared sheets. Bake until edges are just golden, 13 to 15 minutes, switching and rotating sheets halfway through baking. Immediately and carefully transfer cookies to wire rack. Repeat with remaining dough. Let cookies cool completely before serving.

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