Solo filling substitute
I'm making a new cookie for Christmas this year (it was the winning cookie in the Star's contest) but it calls for Solo Apricot filling (or prune) ... and I can't find any. Either it's all been bought by people making the cookie too or the local grocery stores don't stock it.
The author of the recipe says that you can use jam but that it will run out of the cookie... that doesn't sound good and it won't be pretty.
I bought some apricot jam anyway hoping I could thicken it somehow.
Is this possible? Without changing the taste? I was thinking maybe warming the jam, adding some cornstarch and maybe lemon to keep the flavor bright.
What do you think?
I can't imagine what could be in "Solo" Apricot filling that would make it so special. A few cooked apricots, some sugar, water, and a few preservatives perhaps, but that's fairly basic. If you've got some dried apricots, reconstitute them in a bit of water and chop, puree, whatever it takes to make the filling. Add a bit of sugar, if need be, and perhaps stew them a while at the same time reducing the liquid to a syrup.
Your idea for thickening the jam should work too. But it will make your filling a bit "gooey"...
They're called Christmas Yeast Crescents - it sounds basically like a yeast crescent roll that you put a bit of this filling in the middle and then roll up, bake and when cool dust with powdered sugar.
I think I'll try both making my own filling from dried apricots and from the jam I've bought and see which tastes the best.
Best apricot filling is homemade Hungarian lekvar, which I make using dried California slab apricots from Trader Joe's. I have never tried it with lesser dried apricots--I expect that the results would be indifferent. Here is a recipe for prune lekvar, but you could easily substitute apricots. http://www.recipezaar.com/Lekvar-Prun...
Getting the level of sweetness right depends on what you are going to do with it--you may need to add a bit more sugar to the lekvar unless the dough is sweet. If they come out a bit too tart, sift a heap of powdered sugar on top.
If you have not tried the slap apricots from Trader Joe's---DO SO. They are fabulous and cheap, and I make them into apricot jam and compote that is better than that made with fresh, in my opinion. At 4 bucks or so for a pound, you can get like a quart of fabulous jam.
I know this isn't exactly the question that was asked, but it is a related issue. Every Christmas, I make homemade kolaches. Poppyseed is my favorite filling, but straight Solo brand poppyseed filling is foul. Doctored and stretched Solo filling, however, is magnificent and less expensive.
1 can Solo poppyseed filling (1 1/2 cups or 12oz can)
1 beaten egg
1/2 c milk
1/2 c sugar
Combine in a small saucepan over medium heat. stir until bubbly and the mixture turns into a custard. It will be pretty thin when hot, but is decidedly thicker when cool. Cool before using in your kolaches or other yeast doughs.
This can be stretched even further by adding more milk and white cake or cookie crumbs during the cooking process, but I've never bothered doing that. I just use the basic recipe.
Solo fillings are sometimes in the baking aisle and sometimes with the kosher or ethnic foods, depending on the store.
Simon Fischer Apricot Butter, which I used to find on Long Island but haven't seen in the Boston area, was truly excellent - made from dried apricots, and on a par with homemade lekvar
Just reporting back -
I used the recipe zamorski linked - using apricots - and it is great. I ended up putting the apricots in the food processor to smooth it out a bit. But the flavor is fantastic.
The cookies were easy, the dough not too sweet and the filling (lekvar) stayed very nicely inside the crescents. Chowser - they are kind of like rugelach.
I ate about 5 while they were warm (who can resist warm cookies?), and had one this morning. They passed my next morning test - the powdered sugar didn't melt, the cookie is still tender and flaky and the filling just as delicious cool as it was warm.
Thanks for everyone's help!
Have a joyful holiday!