Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Jam Drops and Stars

Wishing all my dear friends and readers and bloggers a merry Christmas! May the joy and warmth of the season fill your hearts and homes!

During this time of the year, the blogosphere abounds with recipes for rich plum cakes and wines and other home-made delicacies, with bloggers generously sharing family recipes and secrets that have brought much joy to them over the years. My family always believed in celebrating festivals irrespective of religion. I received a beautiful Hamlyn illustrated children's bible from my parents for my 6th birthday, so I grew up knowing and loving Christmas for everything it stood for.My childhood Christmas memories involved decorating the manger, the Christmas tree, and my mom roasting a turkey or chicken and of course, the mandatory wine and cake!  There's this lovely rice wine that my mom makes, which I have personally never made, but hopefully will feature on this blog some day...I decided to feature for Christmas these simple and easy-to-make jam drops, which children absolutely love. I baked these for the Christmas potluck party at the school I work at and it was a hit not just with the kids, but my colleagues too! This recipe is from a book called "Grandmas's Quick and Thrifty Cookbook" published by Reader's Digest, gifted to me by my dad and mom. My dad has this lovely habit of  buying books, cookbooks as well as general knowledge and novels "abridged-version" books, from the Reader's Digest catalogues, from as long as I can remember! As a result of this, I have an enviable collection of recipe books, all of which are real treasuretroves. I will be sharing more of these recipes as and when I cook/bake from them...

Ingredients (see notes below for substitutions)
125 g butter
1/3 cup caster sugar (I powdered 1/3 cup granulated sugar)
1 egg
1 cup (150 g) self-raising flour
1/2 cup (75 g) plain flour
1/4 cup (30 g) cornflour
2-4 tablespoons jam, any flavor (I used strawberry and pineapple)

Preheat oven to 180 C.
Line two baking trays with parchment paper or just butter the trays like I did (or use nonstick ones).
Beat the sugar and butter in a bowl until creamy (best to use electric beaters-you can lick them clean later!).
Add the egg and beat until well combined.
Sift the flours and cornflour over this and stir them in using a wooden spoon until well combined.
You will get a dough that is a bit sticky-don't worry, just add in a little more flour to get a more workable dough.
Now you have two options-roll out teaspoons of the dough using your fingers and flatten them in discs. Place them onto the baking trays. Using your thumb, make small indentations in the center of each disc and spoon about 1/4 teaspoon of the jam into the cavity.
Or, you can roll out the whole ball of dough into a thin, large disc, like a chapati or tortilla, then cut out any shape you want using your cookie cutters. Then make indentations in the center using your thumb and place the jam in the cavities.
Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown at the edges.
Transfer to a wire rack to cool and store in airtight containers.

 I could not find self-raising flour, so to substitute used the tips in the Joy of Baking website, which said, for every 1 cup of self-raising flour, use a substitute of 1 cup all purpose flour (maida) + 1-1/2 teaspoon baking powder + 1/4 teaspoon salt. This link is great for referring to when you need to substitute anything while baking-Baking Ingredient Substitutes.
It is best to use unsalted butter for this.

I am linking this to the following events:
Khushi's Bake with your Heart
Julie's Christmas Delicacy

Adios till next time!