Saturday, 2 April 2011

Jam Drops: easy Saturday baking

Jam drops would have to be one of the easiest biscuits to make. I turned to Donna Hay's trusty Modern Classics 2 book for the recipe this time. They were certainly yummo but the jam 'hole' (for some reason that sounds rude) I made in the dough wasn't as deep when they finished baking as I would have liked. Nevertheless they had the expected buttery crumbly texture with oozy jam centres.

Is there a secret to making the jam hole deep and stay deep when baked? If there is, I'd like to know if anyone out there is listening. Maybe I had too much butter? Maybe make the hole wider? I tried a number of batches in different sizes as I made double the mixture the recipe calls for, but they all seemed to flatten out too much (well, for my liking). Anyway they tasted just fine and I used some of my batch as part of a birthday present for a family member - all nicely packed up in a jar. Happy Birthday Barb!

Kind of looks like a giant nipple right? Oops!!

Jam Drops - adapted from Donna Hay's Modern Classics 2

180g butter softened
1 cup caster sugar
1 egg
2 cups plain flour, sifted
1/2 tsp baking powder
jam to decorate (I used raspberry)

Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat until light and creamy.

Add the egg and beat well. Stir through the flour and baking powder and mix to a dough. (Because I wasn't in the baking 'zone' and made a double batch, I used my dough hooks to get through mixing the flour and baking powder in).

Roll 2 teaspoons of the mixture into balls. Place on a baking tray lined with non-stick baking paper, allowing room for the biscuits to spread (and mine did spread!!!). Flatten slightly and press a finger into the middle of each ball of dough to make an indent.

Fill the holes with jam.

Bake for 10 minutes or until golden. Add a little more jam to the holes while the biscuits are hot (Totally do this - it's for your own good!). Cool on wire racks.

Makes about 60 according to Donna. According to me about 40 (think mine were bigger than 2 tsp's and I even made double the mixture).



PS. If anyone has any tips on making the hole stay as a hole - let me know!!


  1. These look so good and I am craving one of these with tea right about now! :-)

    I have made the exact same ones too (huge Donna Hay fan!). I found angling the indents and filling them with jam more towards the steeper side helped (don't know if you can make out from the picture here

    I also found that if the temperature was higher in the oven, the cookie dough collapsed and flattened before baking in its original shape (maybe lowering the temp and baking a tad longer might do the trick)

  2. Can't go wrong with Donna. I like your tips - I can see from your pic about angling the indent and I was definitely thinking the oven temp might have been a factor in the 'flatness'. By the way, love the idea of using frangipane!!!

  3. Hi! I was looking for Donna Hay's jam drop recipe and stumbled across your blog. Jam drops have always been my mum's favourite biscuit so I have been making them since childhood but I have always been plagued by the problem of the biscuits spreading. I always felt a biscuit with such a cute name should look cute to match!

    I remembered having moderate success using Hay's recipie (with a few adjustments) and tried it this afternoon after I found your blog. They turned out pretty well -! Here are my tips for making the hole stay a hole:

    1. The mixture looked a bit wet to me (I had measured everything correctly) so I sifted in flour until it was more dough like. About an extra 1/4-1/2 a cup. This made the biscuits a bit sturdier in the oven but didn't sacrifice texture or taste.
    2. I chilled the dough for about 30-45 mins then worked quickly to get the biscuits in the oven. This helps them hold their shape.
    3. I made each biscuit about 12 grams (just by estimating but I am relatively consistent). The hole I poked in them was narrow but deep.
    4. I resisted the urge to overfill the holes with jam. The jam will boil and splatter and melt the biscuit if there is too much. You can always top it up once it is out of the oven!
    5. I cooked them at more like 170C and for 13-14 minutes.