When I was a child, I always loved the little jam tarts that you could buy in the cookies section of the supermarket. Small, crumbly with very jammy jam, I could never manage more than 2 or 3 due to the intense sweetness, but I enjoyed every bite.I got this recipe from a book that I’ve had since I started high school, but have never attempted it as my family doesn’t have that much of a sweet tooth, and the recipe guaranteed intense sweetness. However, whenever I’m sick I crave comfort foods – particularly favourites from my childhood, so I thought I’d give these a try.
These are spectacular – the almond meal in the cookie dough makes it delicate, light and crumbly – a wonderful texture.
Mmm, jammy goodness
185g butter, chopped and at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla essence
165g caster sugar
2 egg yolks
60g almond meal (ground almonds)
225g plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 tbsps of various jams (the cheap variety without fruit chunks works best)
1 tsp finely grated lemon rind
1. Preheat oven to 160 degrees C.
2. Beat butter, vanilla essence, sugar and egg yolks in a bowl till just combined. Stir in the nuts, flour and baking powder and mix well.
3. Roll level tablespoons of mixture into balls, place at least 5cm apart on baking trays lined with baking paper. Press a hollow into the balls about 1cm deep and 1.5cm wide (the end of a wooden spoon does this quite well!).
4. Combine your various jams (I just used cheap strawberry jam, I contemplated using the rest of my kumquat jam…maybe next time) with pinches of lemon rind. Carefully spoon jam into the cookies.
5. Bake in the oven for about 25 minutes or till the cookies are lightly browned.
Things I learnt:
1. It is sometimes a GOOD THING to trust the recipe. I didn’t believe that the hole was big enough or that there was enough jam in each cookie, so I made them bigger – which resulted in the cookies becoming twice as big and the jam spreading out like nobody’s business!
2. Hot jam burns. No matter how pretty the freshly baked cookies are, it’s not a good idea to stick your finger into these cookies when you’ve just removed them from the oven.
3. Do not trust your sister when she tells you she wants to just take “a few” for her friends, because when you turn around, there will be nothing but cookie crumbs left.
[tags]jam cookies, jam tarts, almond cookie, cookies[/tags]