I’m so excited to introduce to you my latest guest blog! I was virtually introduced to Mel (great name I might add) of Jammy Bodger last year and quickly became a fan of her recipes, so much so that I bought her book! Facebook and social media in general gets a lot of criticism but without it I wouldn’t have known about Mel and her jamming. You can find Jammy Bodger over on Facebook, so please pop over and say hi and check out her fab book while you’re there! So, it’s over to you Mel!
Who says peanut butter and jam is just for kids ? As a child I certain didn’t appreciate the fighting combination of salty crunch versus sweet and fruity. In fact I’m not sure it even occurred to me to try it. But now I love crunchy Nut Butter on Toast topped with a dollop of home made jam. Plus this is one of the only times (err.. the only time) I would actually recommend Strawberry Jam as it’s slightly cloying sweetness is beautifully balanced by the peanut butter.
So what better than to work this flavour combination into cookies. I love a slightly chewy cookie although as you can see from the photo I’ve not got the most exciting cookie cutters, this is where Melanie’s Food Adventures excels. I experimented (by that I mean I ate) lots of these cookies and definitely the jammy thumb prints were my favourite. If you’d rather leave out the jam then add 50g more sugar to your biscuits and indulge in a slightly fatter cookie shape.
The dough is easiest to handle if it’s left in the fridge overnight then there are loads of different ways to roll out and shape. You could roll it into a sausage shape wrap it in cling film and leave it overnight to firm up before cutting it with a sharp knife. Or keep the dough balled overnight in a bowl covered with a damp tea towel and then roll it into small balls using the palms of your hands, press the balls down into a rounder, flatter, shapes on the tray and then decorate to your (or your little baking buddie’s) hearts content.
I used the tip of an icing piping bag to make my thumbprints but use anything you’ve got to hand (ha ha yes I know such as your thumb). The dough is quite fragile so if your dough is sticking either dip your shaping utensil into a cup of hot water then shake off the excess, or if you are cutting dip into flour before using. If you want to make the cookies straight away without popping the dough in the fridge go for the balling option and just press down onto the tray.
This is also a great recipe for using up under or over set jam. Yep that still happens to even old hands at jam making. With under set jam, heat a small jars worth of jam in a saucepan, then in a bowl mix 1 Tbsp of jam with 1 Tbsp of cornflour until it forms a thick paste, add the rest of the jam to the paste and mix thoroughly, then pop it back into the saucepan and heat until it thickens up loverly. This also intensifies the jam flavour. If it’s over set simply use it as it is, but if it’s totally immobile warm it with 1 Tbsp of water to get to a dolloping consistency.
I hope you love these cookies as much as I do. I spent two days eating loads then within a day found I was craving them again, so yep they taste good!
I also make a Paleo Version check it out here
Peanut Butter & Jam Cookies
140g / 1 Cup Plain Flour
½ Tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
½ Tsp Baking Powder
250g / 1 Cup Crunchy Peanut Butter
115g / ½ Cup Butter (either warmed in microwave or left on sunny windowsill)
250g / 1 ¼ Cup Light Brown Sugar
1 Egg Free Range
1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
½ Jar or Jam
1. Sieve all your dry ingredients except the sugar into a large bowl and set aside.
2. In a separate bowl cream the butter and sugar together. Mix in the egg, peanut butter and vanilla extract.
3. Add the dry ingredients and mix well.
4. Bring the mixture together into a large ball, cover with a damp tea towel and place in the fridge.
5. Pre – heat your oven to 180°C/350°F / Gas Mark 4. And grease 2 large baking trays.
6. Either roll your dough out trying not to add too much flour or roll into small balls and then press down on the baking sheet making a dip in the middle for jammy thumbprints.
7. Dollop the jam into your jammy thumbprints.
8. Bake in the oven for 8 – 10 minutes until they are just turning golden around the edges.
9. Leave your cookies to cool on the tray for 2 – 3 minutes to cool before transferring the cookies to the cooling rack.
10. When cool either eat or sandwich small biscuits together with jam and then eat.