Jam thumbprints with 2 coloured jams vignette

Jam thumbprints (whole grain cookies)

This recipe was actually meant to be shared a week ago. Life as we all know does have it’s share of surprises that tend at times to elevate your mood while catching you off guard and at the same time possesses the ‘power’ to send you into a cycle of deep introspection of self or in this case a human life well lived. What do these jam centered morsels have to do with that you may wonder ! Isn’t everything we do in some way or the other connected to who we are and what we would like to see ourselves as ?!

Over the past few days while going through some semblance of a routine and talking to people both familiar as well as unknown,the fact that life though fragile must be celebrated,understood and be allowed to live is a thought which uplifts and empowers. I realised that I’d rather celebrate the physical life ofย  a soul than cram all thoughts into a box of sorrow which would then do complete injustice to the life well lived…and that too for over a 100 years !

Jam thumbprints aerial +

To never lose the inherent childlike quality that we are born with is quite a task. There is that very obvious difference between being ‘childish’ and ‘childlike’ ,the former being a rather annoying trait in adults while the latter allows the grown up to live life without being ravaged by thoughts pertaining to advancement in age. That’s just the kind of folk that make my world an absolutely amazing place to exist in !

Jam thumbprints in glass domed cannister+

So… jam biscuits ! Just those two words and you have my attention. The MRC bakery at Wellington and the JM Bakery at Coimbatore were our two ‘jam biscuit’ haunts ! They were nothing but discs of buttery goodness with a bright red centre of sweet red jam,but they were simply wonderful. We would eat up the biscuit,more like nibble actually all around the jam before literally sinking the front teeth into the stretchy, sticky , chewy baked jam… yum …yum and more yum ! These treats that added much delight all through toddler-hood, pre-teenage-hood, teenage , adolescence and adulthood has barely diminished now during mother of teenage-hood !!! ๐Ÿ˜‰ The only difference being I haven’t eaten these jam centres for over a decade simply because I now have to buy it for myself and tend to forget ,the other reason being the two famous jam biscuit houses stopped making them… a decision that I find completely baffling…. by the way they still continue to make the regular butter cookies. How hard is it to top those of with jam I ask you ?!(eyes rolling in a manner that will beat any teen hands down )

Anyhwoo, the hunt for these red dotted crumbly bites began last year with little result. Friends did try to convince me that the store bought jim jams were great ,one bite and I almost chewed their head off for even daring to compare…lol . Yes, the friendships did survive that,thankfully…they are just as childlike you see, so.. no harm done ๐Ÿ˜€

The jam biscuit angels must’ve thought it was time to end this torture because one day thanks to an intense outbreak of exam munchies, I opened a cookbook gifted by mom eons ago that was happily sunning itself on my rosewood shelf and guess which page magically opened up ?…yep the jam thumbprints… and with red jam !!! It’s by the famous pastry chef Pooja Dhingra and the recipe seemed pretty simple for a home baker like me to give it a try.

Now , I was sure that I did not want to even try and compete with my bakery jam biscuit memories so I used ingredients that are typical of my baking familiarity. Hence the whole grain flour ,ย  fruit preserve , natural sugar, free range eggs etc etc…. there is a slight alteration in the recipe of the quantity of ingredients used which differ from the original.After baking these constantly over the past month for home, family and friends, I’m thrilled to expand on my jam biscuit euphoric fixation. They are perfect holiday treats and the summer of 2017 will be looked back with fondness thanks to my thumb-in-dough happy moments spent in front of a hot oven despite seasonal temperatures that did their own baking of the outdoors !

Jam - guava and cinnamon vignette

While I love the red dots in the centre I also loved the real taste of these bhuira jams . These are available at the fab India outlets and after reading the story of the jam makers of Bhuira in the Reader’s digest ,it endeared me to these preserves all the more.

Strawberry conserve and cookies focus +

This strawberry conserve from Farm & Forest is ‘the’ red that I use to fill the thumb print hollow in these cookies. I love to watch them bubble away as they bake and I can just visualise the toffee like chew element that they will add to the taste buds !

Now you know why I bake and quickly give them away , it’s scary to be left alone with these ( eyes gleaming , glutton horns surfacing ๐Ÿ˜‰ย  )

 

 

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Instructions

  • 1. Make this recipe when you are in between chores...that way it saves on time and ensures that you get in the required refrigeration period
  • 2. Sift the flour and baking powder and set aside.
  • 3. In a large bowl, add the butter and sugar and beat with an electric hand beater until light and fluffy
  • 4. Break the eggs into a separate cup to ensure freshness and then add them in to the butter- sugar mixture. Add the vanilla extract and beat well until the mixture is airy.
  • 5. Add the sifted flour in thirds and fold in with a spatula using a cutting and turning motion. Continue until all the flour is well mixed through.
  • 6. The batter at this stage will be quite soft and sticky. So separate into 3 or 4 individual portions and wrap each separately with cling film and refrigerate for a minimum of 2 hours. It can also be left overnight.
  • 7. When it's time to bake, grease the cookie trays with butter and pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees C
  • 8. Take one portion of dough out of the refrigerator and place it in a bowl
  • 9. Pinch off a small bit and roll between 2 palms before placing on the greased tray. Repeat with the rest of the dough. Place the rounds slightly apat to allow the batter room for spreading. Using your thumb ,press gently in the middle to make an indentation,just enough to make a small dip.
  • 10. Once done, fill the thumb print space with a dollop of jam. Ensure that it doesn't spill over or it will burn while baking.
  • 11. Bake for 10-12 minutes until the cookies are golden and the jam has bubbled and become sticky/chewy.
  • 12. Let cool on a wire rack before storing in air tight tins. It can be stored at room temperature for a few days.

About Chef

Shanthini Rajkumar

Hello โ˜บ ! Welcome to Pink lemon tree. A suggestion that has turned into an immensely satisfying connect with foodies from near and far. Best described as a foodie mom ...