Hello friends. My word, it has been far too long. A hiatus as long as mine from posting is quite unheard of in the blogging sphere, so I’ve come to learn. I am coming back to my happy cookery space with my tail between my legs. I’m offering some beautiful, ruby-like jam drop biscuits, if you’d care to stay?
In my part of the world, winter has given way to spring. The peach tree is in its lacey blossom, the birds are singing earlier and the days are growing incrementally longer. The wind has been kissed with warmth. The sky seems bluer and the air smells cleaner. This is mood-boosting weather, and not one soul here is complaining.
In some sort of Spring-induced joyousness I’ve taken to baking with a passion. Do you do the same? Last week I baked some chocolate-ripple cupcakes studded with dark chocolate chips that I dressed with coils of chocolate-orange frosting and sprinkled liberally with tiny silver cachous. Suitably comfortingly chocolatey and zingy citrusy for the transition to the warmer season.
But more recently I turned to Nana Jean’s handwritten cookbook for inspiration. I needed something transportable, easily shared and celebratory. In other words, I needed these jam drop biscuits.
The biscuits have a gloriously buttery yet light texture. Almost like shortbread biscuits, which I think is very quaint and pleasingly coincidental given that Jean had Scottish heritage. As I am sure you are familiar, each biscuit has a pond of jam sitting in the middle. I’ve turned to the jar of raspberry jam I used in the recreation of this raspberry coconut slice. Any jam will do, but you really need something with a good powerful flavour. Something almost a little acidic, to balance the buttery sweetness of the biscuit itself, you see.
The recipe is very simple. Cream the butter and sugar, mix in the well-beaten eggs, then stir through the sifted dry ingredients. You may be tempted, like I was, to pipe the dough into pretty rosettes before adding the jam. Don’t bother. The dough is far too thick to pipe, and you will only end up with more cleaning up to do! I suppose you could amend the recipe to make it more fluid, but I would be hesitant. The texture of these is truly special. To get the jam to sit nicely in the biscuits I used the floured end of a wooden spoon to make a small depression right in the centre. And, perhaps to appease my now-spurned wish to use my piping bag, I resorted to filling the reservoirs with jam with a small circular piping tip and disposable bag. Wholly unnecessary, of course. If you only have teaspoons then by all means use teaspoons and not a piping bag.
My only complaint about the recipe is how many biscuits it makes! I made a bit over 30 biscuits, which took three batches too cook in my small oven. What a first world problem indeed.
Happy baking comrades. Here’s a promise to many more timely posts!
Jam drop biscuits
½ cup butter, soft
¾ cup sugar
2 eggs, well beaten
2 cups plain flour
½ tsp bicarb soda
1 tsp cream of tartar
¼ cup jam
Preheat oven to 200oC. Sift together the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add the eggs and beat well. Stir through dry ingredients.
Make small balls from the dough and place on a baking sheet. Using the back of a wooden spoon, first dip in flour, then create a depression in the centre of each biscuit. Fill with jam using a teaspoon or piping bag. Bake batches for 15 minutes each.
Don’t eat when straight from the oven. The jam will be as hot as Hades and melt the inside of your mouth.