Jam Butter Thumbprint Cookies

Butter and Jam Thumbprint Cookies

Butter and Jam Thumbprint Cookies

As a kid, I never ate jam cookies. My brother, on the other hand, looooved them!! I remember mom buying Bourbon biscuits for me, Jim-Jam for my brother. I could never understand how he enjoyed them and I bet he kept thinking why I never enjoyed them. I found them overly sweet and didn’t particularly enjoy the jam flavor. I know that Kayani Bakery in Pune also made jam biscuits that were popular and my nephews and nieces loved them every time we would get it for them. I still didn’t enjoy them, even though I love Kayani’s other products.I think my biggest problem with jam cookies were that they are very sweet and taste rather artificial. I never thought I could ever enjoy jam cookies but this recipe surprised me! These are jam cookies for adults!

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I love the website Stumble Upon and I find it fascinating what you can find from the endless world of the Internet. I have found some great websites, which I now follow regularly, while Stumbling Upon. That’s where I found this recipe. As with all recipes, I read the negative reviews and the helpful suggestions before embarking on them. The cookies were described as buttery, less sweet with slightly chewy centers. Some people weren’t very happy that these weren’t very sweet and taste more buttery than anything else, but then they are BUTTER cookies! I was happy overall with the reviews and decided to incorporate some of the suggestions into my recipe. It also helped that I had some delicious fresh, natural, preservative- free jams in my fridge.

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This recipe is more adult-friendly, though it would look very attractive to children. This has less sugar and isn’t crispy but if you have kids who don’t like their baked goods overly sweet, its perfect!

Butter and Jam Thumbprint Cookies

Inspired by a recipe from here

Ingredients
1 3/4 cups All-Purpose Flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter
2/3 cup sugar (I used a little less – 2 tbsp less)
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup fruit jam

Method

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit or 170 degrees Celsius. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats.
Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt together in a bowl.
In another bowl, whip the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes
Beat in the egg and vanilla, until just about combined.
Slowly fold in the dry ingredients, in 2 batches, mixing until just about incorporated.
Scoop the dough into 1-inch balls. You can roll the cookie dough balls in sugar if you wish. I did not.
Place about 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets.
Bake the cookies for about 7 minutes, until slightly risen. 
Pull the tray out of the oven and press a thumbprint into each cookies, about 1/2 inch deep or use a cap to make a better and uniform indentation. 
Fill each indentation with about 2/3 tsp of jam.
Return tray to oven and bake for an additional 9 minutes or until the edges of the cookies are slightly golden.
Cool cookies on the sheet for 1 minutes before transferring onto a rack,

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These tasted wonderful with coffee and tea! I dipped some of the buttery edges into my coffee and bit into them and they were deeee-licious!! The cookies absorbed the coffee flavour very well and melted in my mouth! I have already made them twice and look forward to filling the centres with many more different toppings!

Happy Baking everyone!!

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My absolute favorite: Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

We all have those one absolute favorite dessert that we eat even when we know we shouldn’t. I don’t think I can think of a combination more addictive and tastier than chocolate and peanut butter. Oh wait! Add some Nutella to it and it will drive me crazy!

I love cookies. I love chocolate. And I love peanut butter. What happens when you combine all of them? You get the most amazing, the most sinful and the most addictive things of all! I came across this recipe in 2010. We were young kids excited to be baking and wanted to make something sweet. All our previous attempts had resulted in something burnt or something spread out or something half-baked. But we weren’t disheartened. We were happy to scrape off the burnt bits and eat whatever little is edible or scoop it all up with a spoon. It was another ‘baking day’ and we found a jar of peanut butter in the fridge. Now, I LOOOVEE peanut butter! Give me a jar and some jelly and Nutella and I’ll be the happiest person on this planet. Anyway, we decided to try making these cookies and they turned out so good we gobbled up the first batch just out of the oven. Of course we had to make more and were more patient the second time around. From then on, when we bake these cookies, we always double the recipe and it has never lasted more than 48 hours.
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Fast-forward to a couple of years later, I still love the simplicity of this recipe and they are my comfort cookies. I stopped making them with all-purpose flour and make them now with whole-wheat flour. The texture does change, they aren’t as chewy, but I’m willing to make that little bit of a compromise to eat a little healthier. The ingredients are easy to stock and I began using brown sugar in baking only after discovering this recipe. I sometimes add a little Nutella and cut back a little bit on the peanut butter for an extra flavor kick. I also tend to sometimes add creamy peanut butter and other times, add chunky peanut butter. Either ways, they taste good.
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These are super rich cookies and very indulgent so they’re excellent as a treat. I would bake these and take them as a gift for someone who loves peanut butter. I can’t praise this cookie recipe enough and I don’t want to experiment with it at all! If you do try making it, please let me know what you think!

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Adapted from a recipe by Canary Girl

Ingredients:
• ½ cup of butter (Use unsalted to control the saltiness in the cookies)
• ½ cup sugar
• ½ cup brown sugar
• 1 egg
• 1 teaspoon vanilla
• ¾ cup Peanut Butter (creamy gives a better texture)
• 1 cup flour (I used whole-wheat)
• 1 teaspoon baking powder
• a pinch on salt
• 1 cup chocolate chunks
Method:
• Pre-heat oven t o 375 Fahrenheit or 175 Celsius. Line a cookie sheet with grease-proof paper and set aside
• Cream the butter and both the sugars until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes, with an electric beater if possible. Make sure the butter is at room temperature to speed up the process.
• Add the egg and vanilla and beat them in the mixture.
• Using a wooden spoon beat in the peanut butter until well incorporated in the butter-sugar mixture.
• Next, add the flour, salt, baking powder and stir to combine.
• Add the chocolate chunks and mix them in the dough.
• Drop spoonfuls of the dough on to the cookie sheet, leaving some space between each cookie because they will spread.
• Bake for 12 minutes or until slightly golden.
• Remove them from the oven and allow them to rest on the cookie sheet for 1 minute before transferring to a wire rack to cool.

These taste best when they’re warm with a glass of cold milk on the side. Happy baking everyone!
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Biscuitwala Bhaiya at Marine Drive, Mumbai

One of the luxuries of living in India is that people are so enterprising you can count that every service imaginable exists and can be quite specialised. For example, would you ever believe that someone would come to your house on a Sunday to sell  only 5 specialised Indian bakeries’ biscuits? I would never have imagined so.

The first time I met the biscuitwala ‘bhaiya’, it was a very  lazy Sunday morning. S and I were contemplating what we should do for brunch. The doorbell rang and I was told the biscuit man was here if I wanted to pick something up. I was very intrigued. I wasn’t sure if I really wanted something but I wanted to check out this concept as I had never heard of it before.

As I stepped outside I saw a very pleasant looking man who greeted me with a smile and a namaste. He had, by his side, opened up a large aluminium trunk or ‘peti’ which was lined with plastic and filled with biscuits.

I immediately recognised some of the standard Indian-Irani bakery biscuits! He had khari biscuits, butter biscuits and jeera biscuits. Khari biscuits are savory and are a little bit like puff pastry  or filo pastry.  They have many thin layers which are well buttered to create a crisp, light biscuit that gives you a slight snap when you bite into it and crumbles a little.  They taste excellent with tea or dipped in tea. Almost like a Mumbai classic.

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Butter biscuits are small round biscuits flavored with jeera or cumin. They are rich and buttery and are slightly salty.  These go very well with typical Indian tea which is sugared. Jeera biscuits, also called as ‘poor man’s biscuits’, are flavoured again with cumin or jeera and have very little butter. Hence the name, poor man’s biscuit. They are very crispy and leave crumbs add you bite into it.

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The other three varieties that I couldn’t recognize were badam maska biscuit, sugar topped khari and rusk toast. Badam maska biscuit, literally meaning almond and butter biscuits are shaped into small fingers.  They are slightly sweet with a hint of cardamom and lots of butter! No surprise that they are my favorite!! I love them dipped into a hot cup of masala chai! Sugar khari is simply khari biscuit topped with sugar grains.

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Rusk toast is a very hard biscuit which had a lot of fibre. It is slightly sweetish and to be honest I do not enjoy them much.

I asked the bhaiya if he made them himself. He said he gets them fresh from a bakery and goes around selling then on Sundays.  I believed him when he said the biscuits were fresh because they were warm when he handed them over to me. He is originally from Gorakhpur and has apparently been around for years. He normally rings the bell on every floor to see if anyone wants anything.  I would assume he visits a few other buildings in the area as well. He is such a sweet and polite man. I asked him a lot of questions because I was so intrigued by him and his concept, but he answered them all patiently and seemed happy to do so.

I find the whole concept so wonderful and interesting. It is a testimony that we, in India, have so many luxuries.

If you have someone who comes to your doorstep and sells such unusual goods, do let me know! Would love to hear more.

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But for now I’m going to. Spend my Sunday enjoying a hot cup of tea and delicious fresh biscuits!

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