raspberry jam swirl icebox cookies (vegan & gluten free)

I have another cookie recipe! I've been excited about sharing this one, because it is one of my favorite holiday cookies. 

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These bite-size buggers have cream cheese-infused pastry dough, a lovely pecan and jam swirl filling, and lots of coarse sugar for sprinkling. 

Plus "icebox" chilling, meaning they go in your freezer for a bit before cutting and baking. I think that's basically what defines icebox cookies, but I didn't consult Google because I wanted to call these icebox cookies anyway. 

So to sum up that tangent, I'm not sure if this is a correct appropriation of the term "icebox," but it sounds real cute so we're going for it.

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What is not cute is how finicky this dough is. I tried to un-finicky it and have had I would say 85-90% success. That's enough to post a recipe, right? I'm a recovering perfectionist so I say sure. And because they taste like a million bucks. So yes, we post anyway.  

To put it any more clearly, the dough is a bit tricky. But don't let that kill your joyous holiday baking mood! For 85-90% success, you will require some plastic wrap and aluminum foil. And a good sense of humor and holiday tunes. Maybe some Cabernet. Yep, that sounds lovely.   

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These cookies are straight out of my childhood, and kind of warm my heart a little. The original recipe is torn from some unknown 90's edition magazine and only pulled out for Christmas time. Otherwise it is put away for safekeeping in my mom's little family recipe book thing. I used to make these with her when I was little, and our (me & jam swirl cookie) relationship is renewed. This is honestly why I even bothered to deal with tricky dough and multiple steps. And, God forbid, an "icebox" moniker. They are just special cookies, and I am willing to handle a bit of baking distress.  

But this durn dough. I felt better when I remembered that these cookies were equally finicky in their glutenous form. And that my worth isn't based upon whether or not I make good cookies. Perspective on these is key, friends. You CAN still bake good cookies, even if the dough is tricky and gets the better of you. I believe in you.  

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I haven't made these since being deemed a celiac and dairy allergic kiddo, because they have both of those things. But I have come so, so far since my fear-of-gluten-free-dairy-free-baking days. Which is great because clearly I love baking stuff. Clearly.  

They are freaking CUTE, by the way. 

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If for some reason you aren't solid in your baking activities this next week, give these little guys a chance. They are:

1. Delightful

2. Delicious

3. Sparkly like a Christmas tree (or lights)

4. Worthy of an icebox moniker

5. A special Christmas (or holiday, or any day) cookie to share with friends and family (you START that tradition!) 

 

Can these count as a gift, from TMT to you? They're from my heart :) 

To all who have read TMT (or pretend to read it?), thank you so, so much. Have a wonderful Christmas, holiday season, and New Year. 

 

XOX

Alyssa 

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raspberry jam swirl icebox cookies

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vegan & gluten free 

prep time: 30 minutes + 2 hours freezer time* 

cook time: 18-22 minutes 

makes: ~20-22 cookies 

adapted from: a recipe whose author is unknown 

Ingredients

for the dough:

1/2 cup white rice flour

1/2 cup brown rice flour

1/2 cup sorghum flour

1/3 cup tapioca starch

3/4 tsp xanthan gum

1/2 cup Earth Balance or butter

4 oz. Daiya cream cheese or regular cream cheese

tiny pinch salt

for the filling: 

1/3 cup raspberry jam 

1/2 cup very finely chopped pecans (measured after chopping)

for the topping: 

1/4 -1/3 cup coarse sugar (I used turbinado sugar)

Directions

1. Finely chop the pecans and set aside. 

2. Combine the flours, salt, and xanthan gum in a medium bowl. Cut in butter and cream cheese using your hands (dough should form easily). 

3. Using a 12x14 cutting board to measure, cut a sheet of plastic wrap or wax paper and lay on a hard, flat surface (I used a clean countertop). 

4. Using a rolling pin, carefully roll out the dough into a rough 12x14 rectangle or about 1/4 inch thick. It is FINE if the dough breaks. Press it together with your fingers. To achieve a rectangle, use a small knife to cut the dough. This will make rolling the swirl much easier if it is even :) 

5. Spread the jam in a thin layer to within a 1/4 inch from the edge of your prepared rectangle. Sprinkle with the chopped nuts. 

6. Carefully roll up the edge of the long end of your rectangle. If the dough cracks, press it together with your fingers. Using the plastic wrap, begin to roll the dough in a tight swirl, going VERY slowly to minimize any breaks (see notes)*. Make sure to use the plastic wrap as it will help with keeping a tight swirl. Wrap the extra plastic wrap around the completed roll. 

7. Wrap the roll in a layer of aluminum foil and place in the freezer for at least 2 hours. 

To bake: 

8. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

9. Remove the dough from the freezer and unwrap carefully. Using a chef's knife, very slowly cut the cookies about 1/2-3/4 inch thick. You should end up with about 20-22 cookies. 

10. Dip one side of each cookie into coarse sugar, then place onto the cookie sheet about 1 inch apart. Bake for ~18-22 minutes, or until the edges are beginning to slightly brown. Allow to cool on the sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

11. Place onto a cookie plate and serve to your holiday crowd. They also keep will in an airtight container for 2-3 days. Enjoy! 

Notes

* You can certainly leave these in the freezer overnight or a few days before baking. Just be sure to stick the roll in the fridge for 1-2 hours for it to soften slightly before cutting and baking. If still pretty frozen, you may need to bake an extra 5 minutes or so. 

* The 5-minute mark on this video shows what I mean with using plastic wrap to help you roll the cookies. You can totally use wax paper but I was out :)