Last Friday was a fun and delicious day with friends old and new, when I joined a group of bloggers in NYC’s theater district for lunch and a cookie swap organized by Abby, Chris, Gail, and Maggy.

I’ve never been to a cookie swap before. Knowing that so many venerable bakers were going to be in attendance (like Gail, here with her cutie-pie Mitzi)…

…I was quite nervous about what to bring.

I decided to make two different cookies: one gluten-free and one gluten-full. These bow-ties are the ones that were gluten-full…they’re made with a very simple, rich dough and filled with delicious jam. I used a homemade rosemary-infused peach jam that I never got around to blogging about last summer, but you can use your favorite.

Make sure not to overfill these cookies: stick to the recommended 1/2 teaspoon of jam. I got a little overzealous and added more to a few of mine: they didn’t seal properly and opened up in the oven.

I think these are at once adorable and elegant, and they garnered lots of compliments. I’ll be posting the recipe for the gluten-free cookies I brought to the swap, really delicious iced ginger bars, later this week.

Jam Filled Bow-Tie Cookies

adapted from this recipe, which appears in the special Holiday Issue of Fine Cooking Magazine: Cookies, Brownies, Bars and More

Makes about 70 cookies

Ingredients:

* 8 oz. organic cream cheese, softened
* 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted organic butter, softened
* 2-1/2 cups organic all-purpose flour, sifted, plus more for rolling out the dough
* approximately 3/4 cup good quality jam (peach, apricot, or your favorite)
* One large egg, preferably organic and free-range, beaten
* powdered (confectioners’) sugar, for dusting the finished cookies

Directions:

1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy (about 3 minutes). Scrape down the bowl and paddle.

2. With the mixer on low, add the flour gradually, beating well after each addition. Mix until a smooth dough forms.

3. Turn dough out onto a work surface dusted with flour and knead briefly to form a ball. Divide the dough into three equal portions and wrap each in plastic or waxed paper. Flatten each piece of dough into a square and refrigerate overnight.

4. Heat oven to 400°F. Line 3 cookie sheets with a silpat or parchment paper. Remove one piece of dough from the refrigerator and roll it out on a lightly floured surface into a 1/8-inch-thick rectangle. Trim the rough edges of the dough so the sides are straight, and so the piece of dough measures 8 inches by 8 inches. Cut dough into 2-inch squares.

5. Spoon 1/2 teaspoon of jam onto the center of each square. Fold one corner into the center, dab with the beaten egg, and then bring the opposite corner into the center. Pinch firmly together to seal the corners (make sure to do this, or your bow-ties will open up in the oven). Transfer cookie to cookie sheet and repeat the process with the remaining dough.

6. Bake one sheet at a time until lightly browned on the bottoms and puffed, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool completely and then dust with powdered sugar.

7. These cookies can be frozen in a sealed container for up to 3 months.