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GIFT: Port Jammers, A Should-Be Holiday Classic

Dorrie Greenspan, baker extraordinaire and cookbook author, is one of our baking heroes. We’re excited about her newly opened cookie boutiques, Beurre & Sel, in New York City.

For the holidays, Dorrie has created a more sophisticated version of her popular Classic Jammers: Port Jammers, pairing Fonsecta Bin 27 ruby port with classic French sablés,* shortbread cookies.

Sablés are made with the finest butter and vanilla, crispy around the edges, cakey in the center. Sable (SAH-bluh) means sand in French; plain sablés glisten with sparkling sugar.

Port Jammers are an elaborate variation: vanilla sablés have a center of cherry jam and a topping of Valrhona-cocoa-spiked streusel.

Dried cranberries are cooked in the port with honey and spices, then folded into a tender sugar and spice cookie. Each cookie is topped with port-spiked French cherry jam and Valrhona-cocoa streusel.


Port Jammers cooling on a rack (but that won’t stop us from downing a few). Photo by Kyle Orosz | Beurre et Sel.


You can serve the rest of the bottle of port with the cookies, with cheese, with chocolate; or use it as an ingredient in barbecue sauce or anything needing a bit of intense fruit flavor.

*Sablé is a round shortbread cookie. According to writings of the Marquise de Sévigné, the cookie was created for the first time in 1670 in the town Sablé-sur-Sarthe, in the Pays de la Loire region of western France. The French word for sand, the name may relate to the crumbly texture and golden color of the cookies. Classic sablés can be plain or flavored with almonds, lemon or orange zest.


A gourmet gift for any occasion. Photo
courtesy Beurre et Sel.



Ingredients for the cranberries and cookie base:

  • 5 black peppercorns
  • 2 points star anise
  • One 2-inch piece cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup Fonseca Bin 27 Port (enjoy the rest of the bottle with the cookies)
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 8 ounces unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (packed) light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
    For The Streusel & Jam:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup (packed) light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder, sifted
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
  • 1/2 cup cherry jam
  • 1 tablespoon Fonseca Bin 27

    1. PREPARE CRANBERRIES. Tie spices in a cheesecloth bundle and put in a small saucepan. Add honey, water and port. Simmer for 1 minute. Add cranberries; cook and stir until liquid evaporates. Discard spices. Cool cranberries.

    2. MAKE COOKIE BASE. Mix flour, cinnamon, salt, ginger and black pepper together. Beat butter until creamy. Beat in both sugars. Add egg and vanilla and beat until smooth. Blend in flour mixture, then stir in the cranberries.

    3. DIVIDE DOUGH into 2 disks. Wrap and chill 1 hour. Roll each disk between wax paper until dough is 1/4 inch thick. Freeze for 3 hrs.

    4. PREHEAT the oven to 350°F with a rack centered in the oven.

    5. MAKE THE STREUSEL. Mix all the flour, brown sugar, cocoa, sugar, cinnamon, salt and butter together in a large bowl. Rub everything together with your fingers until the streusel forms moist crumbs. Cover and chill for at least 1 hour.

    6. STIR the cherry jam and port together. Place a 12-cup muffin tin on the work surface.

    7. CUT out 2-inch rounds of dough. Drop a round of dough into each muffin cup. Put 1/2 teaspoon of jam in the center of each cookie and spread into a small circle. Top with streusel.

    8. BAKE 14 to 15 minutes, until streusel sets and jam bubbles. Cool to room temperature before serving.

    Makes about 30 cookies.


    You can order Port Jammers on line, as well as Dorie’s other glorious cookie flavors: Chocolate Mint, Cranberry 5 Spice, Espresso Chip, Classic Sablés and World Peace Cookies, a recipe from famed French pastry chef Pierre Herme made with cocoa and chopped extra-bitter chocolate and fleur de sel.

    The “Cocktail Collection,” savory cookies, includes Cocoa Cayenne, Rosemary Parmesan and Sesame Sea Salt.

    Eight delicious cookies in a gift tube are $14.00 from


    Related Food Videos: For more food videos, check out The Nibble's Food Video Collection.

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