Kate from the little loaf is here today to tempt us with some delicious looking baked treats.
Not only is Kate a very talented baker but she weaves in recipes and helpful tips with beautiful stories and memories of food from her childhood. Everything she makes looks so tempting and there is so much variety too. If you ever want some inspiration – savoury or sweet – then you will definitely find it on her blog. I’d like to try so many of her recipes, such as Real Bourbon Biscuits, Creme Egg Ice Cream and Wholemeal Pitta Bread or these Pumpkin, Poppy and Sesame Bagels. Really I could go on a lot longer but I’ll pass you over to Kate instead.
First up, a huge thank you to Laura for letting me take part in her Sew Yummy series. I’ve discovered some brilliant new blogs over the last couple of weeks and am completely in awe of everyone’s amazing talents: it’s a very exciting project to be involved in.
As someone completely lacking in any sewing skills, my post is going to focus on baking. People often ask where I learned my way around the kitchen and although a lot of what I do is self taught, I’d always reference my Mum for getting my brother and I excited about cooking from an early age. She was, and is, a brilliant cook and always encouraged us to help out around the kitchen, get involved with dinner parties or make our own birthday cakes.
However, when it comes to sewing, her passion and eagerness to pass on her skills met with more resistance. My Mum is an incredible seamstress – she can make her own clothes to an amazingly high standard and (this is one of my favourite random anecdotes) once knitted a set of crown jewels to wear to a fancy dress party. She tried to get me involved from an early age and I even learnt to use her sewing machine to make an apron for my Granny’s 70th birthday, but after the age of about ten any skill or interest I’d ever had when it came to sewing seemed to have disappeared.
Nowadays – much to my Mum’s shame and my regret – I can’t do much more than sew on a button which is why, when thinking of what to make for this series, buttons came to mind. Look online and you’ll find some stunning cakes and bakes decorated with beautifully intricate buttons, usually made out of fondant or chocolate plastic and dusted in glitter or gold dust. There are a lot of amazing things you can do with buttons, but for this recipe I wanted to try something a little more basic and rustic.
The result is these lovely little biscuits. I’ve been wanting to make my own jammy dodgers for ages, but after sneaking a spoonful of my boyfriend’s particularly delicious dessert of peanut butter mousse with a sweet, jammy jelly on a recent trip to Bistro Bruno Loubet, I couldn’t get the idea of peanut butter and jam out of my mind. There’s something about the combination of creamy, slightly salty nut butter and sticky fruit jam which sounds a little odd on paper, but in your mouth it somehow really works.
The buttons are a bit of a fiddle to make – as you’ll see below you have to take them out the oven a couple of times to get the shape and markings right – but I love how they look and the sticky jam squidging through the button holes is utterly irresistible. They’re definitely meant to be rough and ready biscuits though so don’t panic if the jam leaks out the edges a little bit. Once cooled it will solidify, becoming almost caramel-like and the perfect contrast to the light, crispy biscuits.
I hope you enjoy making (and eating!) these as much as I did. Enjoy.
Peanut Butter & Jam(my Dodgers)
180g butter, softened
115g peanut butter
60g granulated sugar
85g soft brown sugar
175g plain flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 large free range egg
In a large bowl or stand mixer, cream together the butter, peanut butter and sugars on medium speed until light and fluffy.
Sieve the flour, baking powder and salt together then beat into the butter mixture. Add the vanilla and egg and beat to combine.
The dough will be quite sticky at this stage so shape into two balls, wrap in cling film and pop in the fridge for 2 hours.
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C. Line two baking trays with parchment paper.
Take one ball of biscuit dough out the fridge (working with one at a time gives it less time to soften up). Liberally dust your work surface and rolling pin with flour then roll the dough out to about 6mm thick.
Using a cookie cutter, cut circles of your desired size out of the dough. If you don’t have a cookie cutter you can improvise – I used the top of a champagne glass! Place your biscuits on the prepared trays and bake for 5 minutes.
Remove the biscuits from the oven and, using a circular cutter slightly smaller than the biscuit itself (I used the end of a piping nozzle), mark a circle indent on each cookie, making sure not to press all the way through. Make four little holes with the end of a skewer for the button holes then return to the oven for a further five minutes.
Remove the biscuits from the oven again and, one at a time, top one biscuit with half a teaspoon of strawberry jam then lightly press a second biscuit on top. Repeat until all the biscuits are matched up then bake for a further 6 – 9 minutes until crisp and the jam has gone syrupy and stuck the two halves together.
Remove from the oven and leave to cool completely before eating.
They are so cute Kate and look absolutely delicious. I love the idea of adding peanut butter to a jammy dodger too, yum. Thank you for joining us today.