Split Seconds Cookies

by Dorothy Reinhold on March 17, 2024

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Split Seconds Cookies are a jam- and fruit-filled treat a bit like a thumbprint cookie but far easier. They won a prize in the Pillsbury Bake-Off in 1954, and have been a treasured cookie on holiday cookie platters for decades.

Welcome to the first day of Spring Sweets Week 2024, hosted by Heather from Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks! We have more than 50 deliciously sweet recipes for you to try this week from our group of 17 food bloggers. And there are three amazing prizes from our generous #SpringSweetsWeek sponsors, so thanks to Melissa’s Produce, Taylor and Colledge, and Selefina Spices for your support. Please take a moment to read about the prizes you can win, enter our giveaway below, and then dig into today’s recipe for a cookie that’s been popular for 70 years!

Giveaway Prizes!

Prize #1: A Tropical and Exotic Fruit Gift Basket from Melissa’s Produce

A basket of fruit

One winner will enjoy a stunning assortment of fruit from Melissa’s, arranged in a woven basket with cellophane wrapping and colorful ribbon. Fruit may include (depending on seasonal availability): Asian Pear, Baby Pineapple, Blood Orange, Cherimoya, Feijoas, Kiwis, Kumquats, Lychees, Mango, Papaya, Passion Fruit, Persimmons, Pomegranate, Rambutans, Specialty Bananas, Starfruit and Tamarillos.

Prize #2: A collection of Selefina Spices

Crystalized Ginger: minced, in a jar, slices

One winner will enjoy a collection of spices from Selefina Spices including: Cinnasational Spice Blend, crystalized ginger, lemon peel, Matcha food grade powder, purple sweet potato powder, and ground cardamom seeds. Selefina Spices sells an assortment of spices gathered using dedication and care with which they’ve curated their online tea collection. With decades of experience sourcing products and establishing global connections, their mission is to bring you fresher, higher-quality spices and seasonings at lower prices.

Prize #3: A selection of 3 extract pastes from Taylor and Colledge

Five tubes of extract pastes

One winner will receive a selection of extract pastes to include almond, organic vanilla bean, and lavender. In 1897, Taylor & Colledge won its first award for excellence in vanilla. Since then, the Taylor & Colledge commitment for unsurpassed quality has earned the brand a reputation as one of the world’s finest producers of vanilla.

Enter our giveaway here

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And then be sure to see the list of today’s recipes offerings below my recipe, and try one or more of them out for your own sweet pleasure this spring.

How to make Split Seconds Cookies

Ingredients for Split Seconds Cookies on a white marble counter First, gather your ingredients. For this recipe, you’ll need:

  • Sugar Box of vanilla, almond and lavendar extract pastes from Taylor and Colledge on a white marble countertop
  • All purpose flour, baking powder
  • Egg
  • Salted butter
  • Vanilla paste. I used Taylor & Colledge Organic Vanilla Bean Paste with Seeds, a superior product.
  • Jam/jelly
  • Fresh fruit. I used black mission figs and Neapolitan Tangerines from Melissa’s Produce
  • Powdered sugar, half & half, almond extract paste for the drizzle. I used Almond Extract Paste from Taylor & Colledge, a deeply flavored extract paste.

A hand holds Split Seconds Cookie dough above a stainless steel mixing bowlUsing an electric mixer, beat sugar, butter, vanilla, egg, flour and baking powder into a dough. It’s a nice dough!

6 pieces of dough on a white plate on a wooden boardPortion it into 6 equal pieces.

Fingers hold a measuring tape showing 9 inches for the cookie dough logs for Split Seconds CookiesShape into cigars or logs about 9 inches long.

6 logs of dough on a parchment paper-lined baking sheetPlace logs on prepared baking sheet. They will all fit because they don’t really spread.

Fingers poised above dough logs to form troughsUse fingers to make a trough.

Hand pushes the handle of a wooden spoon into dough log to form troughOr use a wooden spoon handle to make the trough.

Photos of tangerines and fresh figsChoose which fruit you’ll use. My favorite combos ended up being tangerine segments (with orange marmalade) and fresh fig quarters (with fig jam). The fruits were from Spring Sweets Week sponsor Melissas’s Produce.

Fingers apply tangerine segments to the trough in a log of cookie doughFill the trough with marmalade and then tangerine segments.

Fingers fill dough trough with fig quartersFill the trough with fig jam and fig quarters.

White glaze on top of 2 logs of Split Seconds Cookies -- one with tangerine segments and one with fig segments Bake and when done, drizzle on a simple mixture of powdered sugar, half and half, and almond extract paste.

2 logs of Split Seconds Cookies cut into slicesCut the cookies between fruit segments.

Let’s bake Split Seconds Cookies, shall we? You’ll probably have everything you need for the cookies in your pantry. There’s a good reason these won a prize in the Pillsbury Bake-Off, and have been popular for 7 decades!

Split Seconds Cookies

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Yield: 50-60 cookies

Split Seconds Cookies

Split Seconds Cookies are a jam- and fruit-filled treat like a thumbprint cookie but far easier. They won a prize in the 1954 Pillsbury Bake-Off, and have been a treasured cookie on holiday cookie platters for decades.


  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup salted butter (this is 1 1/2 sticks, or 12 tablespoons)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • .
  • Fruit Toppings
  • --Jelly or preserves to match or contrasts your fruits
  • --Fresh figs (use with fig jam)
  • --Fresh tangerines (use with orange marmalade)
  • .
  • Drizzle
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons half & half (or use milk or water)
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract paste
  • Tiny pinch fine sea salt or table salt


  1. Heat oven to 350F degrees. Line a sheet pan or baking sheet with parchment paper and set it aside.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat sugar and butter on medium until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla and egg until well blended. Add flour and baking powder and mix on low until dough forms.
  3. Divide dough into 6 equal portions. On a lightly floured surface (such as a cutting board or countertop that you can roll something out on), shape the portions into 6 rolls 9-10 inches long. They should look like loooong cigars! Place these rolls on your prepared baking sheet.
  4. With your fingers or the handle of a wooden spoon, press lengthwise down the center and into the top of each roll to make an indentation about 1/4-inch deep and 1/4- to 1/2-inch wide. You're making a trough to hold your fruit toppings!
  5. Fill each indentation with a bit of jelly and then pieces or segments of the fruit. I used fig jam and fig quarters for a roll, orange marmalade and tangerine segments for another roll, and cherry jam and halved fresh cherries for a third roll. Press the fruit in lightly with your hands. (I also tried one of each without the jam and just the fruit, and my family preferred it WITH jam AND fruit. It's slightly less sweet without jam; I liked it that way, but for mass appeal, use jam AND fruit.)
  6. Bake 20 minutes; it will be light golden brown. Remove from oven and cool on sheet for 5-10 minutes, and drizzle with the glaze, to make it pretty.
  7. Then use a sharp spatula to press down and cut between the segments or slices of fruit. I got 9 or 10 cookies per roll; your mileage may vary depending on how many slices or segments of fruit you apply. (More is better, so I would place them more horizontally than vertically so I could get more fruit on each roll.)
  8. All to cool completely and store in an airtight container on the counter. These were wonderful the first day, second and third days. After that, they were GONE, so I can't attest to how long they will last on the counter.
  9. Makes 50-60 cookies, depending on how you cut them.


Recipe source: This is a slight adaptation of a Pillsbury Bake-Off recipe submitted by Maryann Fellows (nee Olsson) in 1954 (the 6th Bake-Off). She won a new kitchen for it, and apparently the recipe was reprinted in the Pillsbury Family Desserts cookbook pamphlet, and the Bake-Off pamphlet for that year. On the Pillsbury website, it credits the cookie to her husband Robert Fellows, but those who knew her and her family say she was well known in her community for these cookies. Apparently she was a native of Sweden who came to American in the late 1940s, and she learned this recipe from her relatives. She used raspberry jam in her original recipe, but you can use any jam, jelly or preserve, and I think it's fun to put a different jam on each log, for different flavors. I added the fresh fruit to modernize it further. Maryann Fellows died in 2003, according to her daughter, who says her mom used to make these cookies every holiday.


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Split Seconds Cookies Pinterest Pin

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DISCLOSURE: Thank you #SpringSweetsWeek sponsors: Selefina Spices, Melissa’s Produce, and Taylor and Colledge, for providing the prizes free of charge. These companies also provided the bloggers with samples and product to use for #SpringSweetsWeek recipes. All opinions are my own. The giveaway is open to residents of the United States who are 18 years of age or older. All entries for the winner will be checked and verified. By entering you give the right to use your name and likeness. The number of entries received determines the odds of winning. Three (3) winners will be selected. The prize packages will be sent directly from the giveaway sponsors. The #SpringSweetsWeek Bloggers are not responsible for the fulfillment or delivery of the prize packages. Bloggers hosting this giveaway and their immediate family members in their household cannot enter or win the giveaway. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. This promotion is not sponsored, endorsed or administered by or associated with Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, X or any other social channel mentioned in the #SpringSweetsWeek posts or entry.

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Radha March 25, 2024 at 3:48 pm

These cookies sound wonderful and I love that many different jams can be used. I am trying this pretty soon.


Dorothy Reinhold March 28, 2024 at 7:43 pm

It’s fun to make the 6 logs and then use a different jam in each one!


Christie March 24, 2024 at 6:52 am

I’ve never heard of these cookies before. I love the totally customizable feature of these cookies.


Dorothy Reinhold March 24, 2024 at 2:53 pm

Exactly! You can tweak them to whatever jam or preserve you have on hand, and what fruit is in season if you’re using fruit!


Inger March 20, 2024 at 6:32 pm

I have some aging jam that I’d love to use in these.


Dorothy Reinhold March 21, 2024 at 8:30 pm

PERFECT use for it!


Karen's Kitchen Stories March 19, 2024 at 3:04 pm

I love the fresh fruit on top. Perfect little cradles!


Dorothy Reinhold March 19, 2024 at 3:42 pm

Cradle is a perfect way to describe this cookie!


Sue Lau March 19, 2024 at 11:52 am

You can’t go wrong with cookies. Especially topped with fruit. Yum!


Jolene March 19, 2024 at 8:23 am

What a great spin on a classic cookie! My gram used to make them with raspberries, yours sound amazing!


Dorothy Reinhold March 19, 2024 at 3:42 pm

Your grandmother made Split Seconds cookies? Yahoo!


Hezzi-D March 19, 2024 at 3:38 am

Yum! Cookies with fruit and jam are calling my name! I’ve never heard of these cookies but I’ll take one of each!


Dorothy Reinhold March 19, 2024 at 3:43 pm

And you shall have them!


Cindy March 19, 2024 at 1:50 am

So easy! I love that trough idea to fill with fruit!


Dorothy Reinhold March 19, 2024 at 3:43 pm

I also made them with cherries (and cherry preserves), but I thought the tangerine and fig versions were the absolute best.


Wendy Klik March 18, 2024 at 6:14 pm

I had never heard of these cookies before. Thanks so much for sharing them. I cannot wait to try them and experiment with all the wonderful flavors each season.


Lisa March 18, 2024 at 5:20 pm

It would only take me a split second to devour these cookies!


Dorothy Reinhold March 18, 2024 at 9:51 pm

Ha ha…I see what you did there.


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