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After watching coverage of the Olympics in London, I was in the mood to cook something British.
I decided, after hearing it mentioned in a couple episodes of “Doctor Who,” to make Jammie Dodgers.
Jammie Dodgers are the brand name for a British biscuit, or cookies as we call it, made from shortbread and raspberry jam. They also are known as jam sandwich cookies.
Usually these cookies have a cut-out heart or star in the middle. I only had a small Christmas tree cookie cutter in my collection and didn’t think that made much sense in August, so I used a circular water bottle top to cut out the centers.
They are simple to make but it’s a multi-step process. To be authentic, I used a recipe from a British website.
The first problem is deciphering British measurements. Most of their ingredients are measured in grams, not cups. But online conversion charts can help you figure out the measurements.
You also might need a conversion chart for the temperature used. Across the pond, they preheat their ovens to Celsius temperatures and gas marks.
The next challenge is some of the ingredients. In America, you can’t really find caster sugar, but it’s easy to create. Caster sugar is a finer grade than regular granulated sugar but not as fine as powdered sugar.
To make it, take granulated sugar and pulse it a few times in a food processor or, as I did, use a coffee grinder, until it is the right consistency.
All are simple problems to fix once you know how.
While the traditional cookie uses raspberry jam, some call for strawberry jam.
After chilling the dough, use a round or scalloped edge cookie cutter to cut the shapes out of the dough. In half of them, use a smaller cutter to cut a hole in the center. You will use the half with the cut-out centers for the top layer of the cookie.
When the cookies cool, layer the bottom cookie, then a small amount of jam and finally the top cookie with the center cut out. The jam keeps the two layers of cookie together.
Because the cookie has been mentioned a few times in the TV series, I tried the recipe out on a group of “Doctor Who” fans.
“I'm going to need a SWAT team ready to mobilize, street-level maps covering all of Florida, a pot of coffee, 12 Jammie Dodgers and a fez,” as the Doctor would say.
The cookies were a big hit and I went home with an empty dish, which always is a good sign.
If the Olympics have put you in a slightly British mood as well, jam cookies are a tasty treat to try.
Becca Owsley can be reached at (270) 505-1741 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jam Cookie Sandwiches (or homemade Jammie Dodgers)
3 1/2 plain flour
1/3 cup caster sugar
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoon freshly gratedlemon zest, from 1 large lemon
4 egg yolks
1 1/3 cups butter, softened
Raspberry or strawberry jam
Icing sugar (powdered sugar), for dusting
Adjust sizes of cookie cutters as necessary
Preheat oven 350 degrees.
Sift flour into a large bowl, add sugar, vanilla extract, lemon zest, egg yolks and butter. Mix with a hand mixer or wooden spoon until it comes together as dough.
Remove from bowl and flatten with a rolling pin or the palm of your hand to about 3/4-inch thick. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Remove dough from the fridge and place on a lightly floured work surface. Roll dough out to about 1/4-inch thick.
Using a medium-size biscuit cutter, cut dough into discs.
Take half the discs, and using either a plain or flower-shaped 1 1/4-inch cookie cutter, cut holes from the center. Bring scraps together and roll out to make more discs, and cut holes in the center of these. You should end up with about 35 whole discs and 35 discs with the centers cut out.
Place discs on baking trays (you will need a few baking trays) and bake for 8-10 minutes until pale golden brown. Allow to stand for a few minutes, then remove from trays and transfer to wire racks to cool.
When the discs are cool, spread a half teaspoon of jam on the whole discs and top with the discs with the centers cut out.
Dust with powdered sugar and serve.