A few years ago, in the height of Matt Smith’s Doctor Who stint, someone on the writing team decided the Doctor liked Jammie Dodgers. Who knows why, but I guess it makes sense – he’s quintessentially British, and what’s more British than tea with Jammie Dodgers? Maybe tea with the Queen, but hey, let’s not get ahead of ourselves; a time-travelling alien in London is one thing, but tea with the Queen, that raises the bar on all things exciting, terrifying and unlikely, even if I did meet Taylor Swift. Besides, it adds something to his I-may-be-quirky-but-don’t-mess-with-me-becuase-I’m-the-Doctor persona, or maybe it doesn’t. At the time I thought it did. Thus began a love affair – let’s be clear: the love affair was with biscuits, not the Doctor. That began a long time ago.
Getting away from the point (Miranda reference, for anyone who is apparently as British as I am – apologies for giving at least 6 British references in almost as many sentences).
The point? Oh yeah, Jammie Dodgers. For those who haven’t experienced them, they’re basically a shortbread biscuit with some jam in the middle. But, let’s just be absolutely clear about one detail – they’re really not like Jam Fancies or whatever other rubbish Australian-maybe-now-American biscuit companies have produced to try to overcome the distinct lack of quality British biscuits in our supermarkets. They’re a whole other level, a much, much lower level. Real Jammie Dodgers are sometimes available in Coles – maybe in the “foreign foods” aisle? And if you see them, please, for my sake and your own, spend that $2.49 and buy a packet, because you will never, never go back to Jam-rubbish-Fancies after experiencing a real British biscuit.
I still feel like I’m getting away from the point. The real point is that I made some Jammie Dodgers recently. Well, when I say made Jammie Dodgers, I really mean I made a sort of jam-sandwich biscuit that somewhat resemble Jammie Dodgers, and the recipe was on the BBC website, so I feel like it’s much more legit than any other Jammie Dodger recipe in the world (because BBC has good recipes, and it’s British – double win). But as it was not the recipe from the company that makes real Jammie Dodgers, I guess I can’t really call them Jammie Dodgers. So now it seems that my entire rant about Jam Fancies is now somewhat invalid. Dang. And apologies. I didn’t realise I had so many strong feelings about biscuits…
All sarcasm and edgings of bitterness aside, it’s a solid recipe. You should try it. Plus, they look so impressive that people didn’t believe I made them! So that’s got to count for something! But if you’re really keen but also time poor, ask me and I might make some for you!
or something similar, but much better than Jam Fancies
100g unsalted butter, softened
175g caster sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla essence
200g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
1 smallish jar of jam – flavour of your choice
- To make the biscuits, beat the butter and sugar in a stand mixer until well combined.
- Add the egg and vanilla, and beat until fully incorporated.
- Add the flour to the mixture and beat slowly until fully combined.
- Take the dough out of the bowl and shape into a ball. Roll the dough out between two sheets of baking paper to around 5mm thickness. Place the sheet to a baking tray and put in the fridge for 10 mins to firm up.
- Remove from the fridge and cut out your biscuits using a 6cm flower-shaped cutter (or whatever shape you like). In half of the cut biscuits cut a small circle, star or heart from the middle with a small cutter.
- Place on baking trays lined with baking paper and leave to firm up in the fridge for 10 minutes.
- Heat the oven to 170C fan and bake the biscuits for 7 minutes, then take them out of the oven and sprinkle the tops with caster sugar if desired.
- Return all the biscuits to the oven and cook for a further 5 mins.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely on a wire rack. When cool, spread jam on the bottom biscuit (the one without the hole) and top with another biscuit (the one with a hole), sandwiching them together. Then eat!