The Dish: Adam Joseph's jam-filled shortbread cookies, Christmas popcorn

Saturday, December 23, 2023
The Dish: Adam Joseph's jam-filled shortbread cookies
6abc Meteorologist shares his delicious recipe for his lingonberry jam-filled shortbread cookies.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- 6abc Meteorologist Adam Joseph is our resident baker and entertainer, and he's been busy this holiday season making thousands of Christmas sweets.

So, we asked you, the viewers: What he should make for us? Which of his recipes do you want to bring to your holiday spread?

Close to 8,000 of you voted and the winner was his jam-filled shortbread cookies!

He houses all of his recipes and secrets in one binder.

"This is my cookbook that I started," he shares. "This houses all of my deepest, darkest, delicious dishes in this book."

The jam-filled shortbread recipe you voted for is extra special to Adam because it's a nod to his Swedish roots.

"I use lingonberry jam in the middle," he explains, adding to the Swedish flavor.

The recipe starts with four sticks of unsalted butter.

"Butter is your best friend when you're baking," he says.

Cream that butter and add one cup of granulated sugar and two teaspoons of vanilla.

"You cannot buy store-bought vanilla," he says. "You need to make your own vanilla extract. This big jar is probably less than $5. You have to be frugal."

Here's how he does it:

  • Fill a big mason jar with inexpensive vodka, or rum for a deeper flavor.
  • Add 12 Madagascar vanilla beans.

It takes six months to cure.

Just shake it every couple of days for the first month and then let it sit.

Adam says it tastes better than store-bought vanilla and it's a fraction of the price.

Next in the mixer, Adam adds the the secret weapon of all weapons: brandy.

"This adds another little depth of flavor," he explains.

Next, slowly add five cups of flour and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Don't overmix it because we finish kneading it on the counter.

"People usually use flour when they roll out dough," he says. "It will dry the dough out if you have so much flour. This is also a little tip: use powdered sugar!"

Once you've done kneading it into a ball, wrap up that dough and refrigerate it overnight. When you're ready to bake, let it sit out for a bit before you start to roll.

This is a sandwich cookie, so you need enough dough to make both sides. Then, grab a cookie cutter. We chose an ornament shape.

On one side of the cookie, use a round cutter to make a little hole in the middle, so that later, the jam peeks through.

Bake in the oven at 325 degrees for about 12 minutes. Let them cool and then add the jam.

For the final touch, sprinkle with powdered sugar.

You can fill these cookies with any kind of jam or jelly or preserves, even Nutella!

Adam's Family Holiday Traditions

All of these holiday traditions are very near to Adam and very important to his family.

"Karl and I were Christmas kids," he says of his husband. "Before we had kids, I was obsessed with Christmas. He was too. It's a match made in heaven. Now, we are sharing that magic with the kids."

Adam Joseph gives us an inside look at his family's Christmas decorations

Their winter wonderland home has not one, but two, Christmas trees. In his new baking nook, Adam has been cranking out cookies since November 1.

"It's a huge accomplishment," he says of his spread of holiday cookies. "I take pride in it. I love spoiling people."

It's a passion passed down from his grandma, Alice.

"She worked in a bakery her entire life," he explains. "I remember going to the bakery as a little boy and playing in the back while she was working in the front."

Later, Adam worked there too.

"I was the cleaning boy," he says, starting when he was 11. "I cleaned the pots and the pans and scraped the floors. Eventually, I worked up to working the front counter."

And then he started baking, just like grandma.

"This was her apron from the bakery where she worked," he says, showing me a red teddy bear made from that material. "My mom had this made for me when she passed."

Adam also carries on her hospitality.

Adam Joseph shares love of Christmas with his family

"It makes me happy to feed someone," he says. "Oh my gosh, I became my grandmother!" he laughs.

Adam's gifts truly come from the heart. They are always homemade, like his Christmas popcorn.

"My mom gave us this popcorn maker," he says, showing off the machine on wheels. "She won it. You don't have a popcorn maker. You could buy store-bought popcorn or pop it in the microwave."

Adam's daughter Hannah helps us drizzle the unsalted popcorn with white and dark chocolate.

From there, add a little butter salt, crushed candy cane and peppermint sugar. Package it up, and deliver with love.

Adam's second favorite day to Christmas? December 26th, when he buys all of next season's decorating items on sale!



  • 2 cups (1 pound) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons brandy
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Desired Jams for filling
  • About 1/2 cup powdered sugar for dusting


1. Using either a KitchenAid Stand Mixer or even a bowl with an electric hand mixer...turn on medium speed, beating the butter and granulated sugar until smooth and creamy (few minutes). Then add the vanilla and brandy. Shut off the mixer after all combined.

2. Add the flour a cup at a time and slowly mix into the butter mixture. Finally, add the salt. Mix until the dough is crumbly and the dough starts to come together, do not over mix. Transfer it to a lightly floured surface (I use powdered sugar) and knead the dough hard until it molds into a ball or disk. It will take some muscles to create a beautiful dough. Flatten this somewhat and then divide the dough in half.

3. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap and either freeze for up to 3 months or place it in the fridge for use 30 minutes up to 2 days. When you plan to use the dough take out of the fridge for 10 minutes.

4. On a powder-sugared surface, roll out the dough from the middle to the edges until the dough is 1/8"-1/4" thick. Make sure there is enough powdered sugar under the dough so it does not stick to the countertop.

5. Select your favorite round or other-shaped cutter. Cut out the cookies. (2-4" is best)

6. Place cookies 1 inch apart on cooking parchment-baking sheets. Gather excess dough into a ball, re-roll, and cut out the remaining cookies. Continue this process until you use up all the dough.

7. Bake cookies in a 325 oven until edges are just beginning to brown, 10 to 12 minutes: if baking more than one pan at a time, switch pan positions halfway through baking.

8. Cool completely on a flat surface. It is important to let them cool totally flat.

9. Once cool spread one cookie with your desired jam (using the flat side of each). Top each with a remaining cookie, the flat side toward the jam.

10. Once cool, sprinkle the tops of the cookies evenly with powdered sugar.

*If desired you can cut out a hole or design for the cookie using a small cut-out so that the jam can be seen when you put the cookies together. If you want to try this, make sure that your dough is very cold when you roll it out and cook it right away. You only cut out half of the cookies.



  • 32 cups of plain cooked popcorn (from kernels or bag)
  • 1- 18oz bag of white chocolate chips
  • 1- 18oz bag of dark chocolate chips
  • 4 teaspoons of canola oil
  • butter flavored theater salt
  • peppermint sugar sprinkles
  • bag of crushed up candy canes


1. Pop the kernels until you get 32 cups, or buy already popped.

2. Spread the popcorn all over the counter in a single layer. I place parchment paper on the counter for easier cleanup at the end.

3. In a glass microwavable bowl, place the white chocolate chips and 2 teaspoons of canola oil in the bowl. Microwave 30 seconds at a time, mixing every 30 seconds until it is smooth and creamy. Pour a 1/4 cup of the crush candy cane into the melted chocolate, mix, and then drizzle it over the popcorn.

4. While the chocolate is still wet, sprinkle the butter-flavored theatre salt over the popcorn. Use as much as you like. I tend to use 2.5 tablespoons, depending on how salty you like your popcorn.

5. Then melt the dark chocolate and 2 teaspoons of oil in the same bowl, same directions as the white chocolate, and drizzle over the popcorn.

6. Then immediately sprinkle the peppermint sugar sprinkles and the rest of the crushed candy canes all over the popcorn. Use just enough to lightly cover the popcorn and chocolate. Again, I eyeball this, but roughly 3/4 cup of the crushed candy cane and 6 or so tablespoons of the sprinkles. With your hand, lightly press the popcorn to make sure most of the candy canes adhere to the chocolate.

7. Let it dry for a few hours. Once dry, place in bags or tins, and seal or tie it up to prevent air from getting in. This will make roughly eight bags of 4 cups. A nice gift to give someone.