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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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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Tea Time Accessories!

My two favourites meals would be breakfast and ‘teatime’! As kids, tea time meant hot chocolate milk with biscuits or a snack.  I always looked forward to the biscuit part! My favourites were and still are – Bourbon chocolate biscuits and Nice, sugar coated coconut biscuits. I always enjoyed India’s classic biscuit- Parle-G. When I was studying in  California, I would try to find them at the nearest Indian store and dip them in some deliciously spiced, milky Indian tea!

I still enjoy my biscuits dipped in my milky tea.  While I prefer herbal teas, if there are biscuits and if I’m at home, I’m going to get good ol’ Indian sweet,spiced milky tea to dip my biscuits. You definitely enjoy this type of tea on a rainy and slightly cold afternoon.

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I love the versatility of the food you can serve with tea. They’re easy to eat, finger foods that aren’t heavily spiced.  They’re fun to make and you can have interesting shapes. I was having a few friends over yesterday and I decided to get some biscuits, bake cupcakes with a rich chocolate frosting, make a hung curd dip to serve with herbed pita chips and make my shortcut bruschetta!

I had so much fun making everything in bite sized portions and was happy to see that they enjoyed it.

What I enjoyed the most was using a cake stand that S and I got as a wedding gift from my cousin! The plates were Victorian era influenced and u loved the way it all came together. I decided to  make it the ‘sweet station’. I put all the biscuits and cupcakes on the stand and made it my center piece.

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Girls love sugar even if they are publicly obliged to hate it because of all the calories! We totally enjoyed our sugar and  had a wonderful evening sipping our teas and coffees amidst the sound of raindrops.