Wednesday, March 16, 2016
Recently, a colleague and I went to a function where they served jam drops (or thumbprints, as they are known in the US). The jam drops were a little too flat and pale for my liking. When my colleague indicated that she didn't know how to make jam drops, I was inspired to make a batch of jam drops for her. I never really think about baking the staples that I grew up with because they are interwoven with my identity - they just are. However, I was jolted out of this by my colleague, at least in respect of jam drops.
The recipe that I used was a handwritten one that I copied out of Day to Day Cookery by I M Downes when I first moved out of home. This was my home economics textbook, which my mother commandeered once I had finished with it. I have added a few extra details below, because I M Downes has assumed that people know quite a bit about baking in her recipes.
To make these jam drops, you will need:
120g softened butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups self raising flour
pinch of salt
1/4 cup jam of your choice
Beat the butter and sugar to a cream (that is, beat them in a stand mixer until light and fluffy). Add the egg to the mixture and beat well, then add the vanilla extract and beat to combine. Gradually add the sifted flour and salt to the mixture, and mix into a smooth paste.
Roll the mixture into walnut-sized balls, place them on a lined baking sheet about an inch apart and make a hollow in each one with your forefinger. Add just enough jam to each hollow to just cover it - don't add too much or it will ooze out during baking.
Bake the biscuits in a moderate oven (that is, 180 degrees Celsius) until golden on top (~12-15 minutes). Remove the biscuits from the oven and allow them to cool on the baking sheet.