Did you know it’s been something absurd, like 7 posts, since I’ve baked? I’ve been trying to be healthier lately… working out more, eating vegetables like they’re going out of style, not eating processed foods, etc. But the other day, these cookies called to me. Maybe it’s because smoothies are the only sweet things I’ve been eating lately. Maybe it’s because I have jars upon jars upon jars of jam in my fridge/pantry/countertop. Or maybe it was divine intervention. But who needs a reason to bake cookies? Who are you, the cookie police? I baked cookies. The end.
It did help, however, that we had tons of jam. Lately the end-of-summer blues have been hitting me pretty hard. I’ve started to realize what little responsibility-free time I have left with swimming pools and late nights and, most importantly, summer fruits. So in order to extend the life of one of my favorite summer fruits (figs, from Preston’s aunt’s garden), I decided to try my hand at making jelly/jam/preserves for the first time. I had mixed results — I used two different recipes and neither used pectin; the first one, fig preserves, solidified fairly well but didn’t yield very much so I doubled the recipe for fig cinnamon jam but it never really jelled. They both tasted good, but you can definitely tell they’re made by a novice jam-maker (jammer? jamifier?). Anywho, bottom line is that now I have jars on jars of fig jam, plus my mom gave me some peach jelly the other day, and Preston’s grandma gave us grape and peach jelly as well.
This recipe was the perfect way to dip into each of the jars for a little end-of-summer treat. It was easy to make (especially if you actually READ the recipe and sift in the flour instead of just dumping it in there like I did… whoops) and very comfort-y. It’s also really gratifying to know that you’re using an ingredient that you made in a recipe. I made fig, raspberry, grape, and peach.
By the way, sorry for being a bad blogger and not updating. Life’s been busy, but I promise that I’ll be back soon with plenty of new material. I’ve recently started re-decorating my kitchen, delving into the realm of Filipino food (I’m Filipino but have no experience with the food), and grilling EVERYTHING thanks to thieving my parents’ George Foreman.
Austrian Jam Cookies, from Bread and Honey. I halved the recipe and got 15 cookies.
1 c. butter
1 c. granulated sugar
2 1/2 c. flour
2 tsp. vanilla extract (or almond extract, or both)
jam (or filling of your choice)
slivered almonds (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, preferably with an electric mixer, beat margarine or butter, sugar, eggs, and extract(s) until smooth and creamy. Sift flour in 1 cup at a time. Roll dough into balls. Roll in slivered almonds (optional). Place on cookie sheet and thumbprint each cookie. Scoop jam into dented center (I find it best to use a small kid’s spoon for this). Bake for 12-14 minutes, until bottoms are golden. Remove from cookie sheet after a few minutes to cool.