Cream cheese and apricot jam cheat’s Hertzoggies

These insanely delicious cookies are a type of jam thumbprint cookie; with a rich cream cheese mixed into the dough for tanginess and moisture, and a dollop of homemade apricot jam and toasted coconut on top for flavour.

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These are also delicious made with my other recipe for strawberry jam.

A Hertzoggie, named after General Hertzog, the SA Prime Minister until 1935, is a traditional South African pastry made with apricot jam, a pastry and a coconut meringue topping (here’s a great recipe if you want to go traditional!). They’re divine but a bit of a mission to make, and I thought the flavours would work perfectly as a cookie with a heck of a lot less hassle.

I was right! They do.

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The dough is crazy delicious and I always end up eating a good portion of it before I even start baking – I know I shouldn’t! But these little yummy bites get munched so quickly out the oven it might be your only chance to try it; alone in the kitchen.

Makes about 4 dozen cookies 

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup apricot jam
  • 320g cake flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 160g unsalted dairy butter
  • 133g sugar
  • 85g cream cheese
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 50g dessicated coconut

To make

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 C, and line two large baking trays with wax paper.
  2. Whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder in a small bowl.
  3. In a large bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until pale, light and fluffy. Add in and beat the cream cheese, egg and vanilla, scraping down the sides as needed.
  4. Beat at a much slower speed and add in the flour mixture until a dough is formed (do this quickly so the glutens don’t stretch too much). I refrigerate mine for a little before baking, but it’s not strictly necessary.
  5. Now’s the tricky part! Take a teaspoon of dough at a time and roll into balls between your hands. Put these on the baking trays about 5cm apart. Dip your thumb in some water and lightly press a thumb dent into each cookie.
  6. Bake the cookies, one sheet at a time, for about 10 minutes – until they are just starting to go brown at the edges. Remove the cookies from the oven and – going as quickly as you can – use a teaspoon or a coffee spoon dipped in water (I found the coffee spoon worked best) to press the dent in again. Use a teaspoon to drop jam into each dent, and sprinkle coconut on top (it will toast in the oven).
  7. Put the cookies back in the oven and bake for a further 12 – 14 minutes, until lightly golden.
  8. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for 10 minutes, then move to wire racks.
  9. Enjoy!

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