Jam drops are the sort of biscuits that are great to make with kids. Nothing like getting them in the kitchen early, making culinary delights for the family to share. These are particularly good because they get to use their hands a lot, which makes the task even more enjoyable. Rolling the dough into balls, adding a thumb print to the centre of the biscuit, then filling it with their favourite jam, ensures they get the full baking experience rather than just watching from the sidelines. They may not turn out perfectly, but that’s part of the fun. Nothing quite like the bragging rights of saying: I made them myself.
I like this recipe (from Simply Bill, Bill Granger) because the biscuits are very buttery, making them crumbly rather than crunchy – think shortbread. Also, they have shredded coconut in them and citrus zest. I use lemon zest although the original recipe uses orange. I’m sure lime zest would work just as well, if that’s all you have to-hand. As for the jam, choose your favourite. Raspberry, strawberry, apricot…it’s up to you. That’s the other great thing about jam drops, you can personalise them, and who doesn’t like that.
My biggest downfall when making these biscuits is flattening them too much. Bad idea. If you do that the thumb print isn’t very deep, and that means less jam added to the centre of the biscuit. So, restrain yourself in the flattening process, it makes a better biscuit if the hollow is deeper. But then again, if you get carried away, don’t worry about it. If you’re anything like me, there is no uniformity in biscuit making. Some are perfect, some less so, but that’s what home baking is all about.
This recipe makes 25 biscuits, which of course depends on the size of the ball you roll. Aim for a bit smaller than a golf ball and you should be right. But when you’re baking with children, any size is the right size. It’s the process that counts. Enjoy!
- 250 grams unsalted butter, softened
- 3 tablespoons caster sugar
- zest of 1 lemon
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 teaspoon natural vanilla extract
- 250 grams plain flour
- 90 grams shredded coconut
- raspberry jam
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius. Line a large tray with baking paper.
- Beat together the butter, sugar and lemon zest with electric beaters until pale. Add the egg yolk and vanilla and beat until combined. Fold in the flour and coconut.
- Roll tablespoon measures of the mixture into balls, arrange on the tray about 2cm apart. Press to flatten slightly. Make an indent in the centre of each one with your thumb. Fill each dent with jam (about ½ teaspoon).
- Bake for 10 - 12 minutes or until lightly browned. Leave to cool on a wire rack.