Delightful Coconut Jam drops are all about that shortbread and oozy jam center. These cookies bring out the nostalgic in me, a time when Australia was a little new and food was simple and uncomplicated. Perhaps they remind me of what childhood should be all about.
If you grew up in Australia, these jam drops will certainly bring fond memories of your grandmother making this staple for school lunches or during the holidays. These cookies are so lovely with their jam centres sometimes oozing out of the centre. Normally I’ll make half with apricot jam and the other half with raspberry as opposed to strawberry as they make a lovely dramatic contrasting mosaic effect laid out on the baking sheet.
The first time I made these about twenty years ago, my eldest child was a toddler and I had her first birthday party to prepare. Fairy bread and these classic coconut jam drops was on the cards. That first time, I added the jam at room temperature before baking but the end result was the jam splattering everywhere. The second attempt, I added the jam cool from the fridge and only filled in the little thumbprint halfway prior to baking and then topped the jam thumbprint 2 minutes before the cookies were ready. Long enough for the jam to set in the cookie but not too long so that it splatters everywhere. The perfect result achieved.
So here we are after 20 years and now many many successful bakes later. It is school holidays and with three boys staying over for the day, these jam drops were made ever so quickly while the boys were swimming in the pool.
Before you start, bear in mind no two ovens are the same so cooking times and temperatures vary. Ensure your cookies are spaced apart on your baking dish and when placing in the oven they are right in the center for even cooking.
When making biscuits all your ingredients must be at room temperature. This includes the butter and the egg. When the butter is soft, yet holds its shape, and when it doesn’t hold any resistance when you pierce it with a knife, it is at room temperature.
If you have made these, do let me know how you went and perhaps tag me with #olivesandfeta. I would love to see your creation.
- 150g butter at room temperature
- 1 egg at room temperature
- 1/2 cup caster sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
- 1 cup Self Raising Flour
- 1/2 cup Plain Flour
- 1 cup desiccated coconut
- 1/4 cup almond meal
- 1/4 cup raspberry jam
- 1/4 cup apricot jam
- 1 teaspoon lemon rind
Preheat oven to 170 degrees Celsius. Line two baking sheets with baking paper.
Mix the lemon rind and jam together. I have used two flavours of jam here. Keep jam and lemon mixture in the fridge until needed.
Cream the butter and sugar.
Add the egg and beat well.
Sift the flour, and fold into the batter. Add the coconut and almond meal and mix with a wooden spoon. Keep on mixing until well combined. You may need to use your hands to mix the ingredients well.
Roll the mixture into a small ball and place in the baking sheet. Ensure each ball is at least 5 cm apart. They will spread and rise as they bake. If they are not far apart from each other, they will come into contact and stick together during the baking process.
Use your thumb, or an object that is cylindrical and only about 1 cm in diameter. This may be the back of a wooden spoon. Press into the center of the balls. They will flatten a little. I try to make my wells a little deeper as the cookie will flatten when it cooks.
Add a quarter of a teaspoon of the jam into the wells.
Bake for 15 minutes, then remove from the oven, then top the wells with more jam. If the well is shallow because the cookie has risen, you may need to use your finger or the back of the wooden spoon to press down again. Bake for another 3 minutes, remove from the oven and inspect the cookie and the jam. They may require a little more jam bake for a further one minute. Remove from the oven, allow to cool before touching. They may be a little soft whilst still warm.
Bake for a further 10 minutes approximately - until you have a nice lightly golden cookie.
The lemon is to add a little tartness to the sweet jam center. Try it, you won't regret it, it is a lovely touch.
Use good quality jam only. Here, I have used St Dalfour Jam.
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