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Saturday, 6 September 2014

Jammie Dodgers for grown ups

Ok, so really they're not at all like Jammie Dodgers, but they were certainly my inspiration! These are crisp, sweet vanilla sugar cookies with buttercream and beautiful, tangy passion fruit curd. If you've never tried it (like my husband who is so repulsed by the idea of it that apparently the biscuits sound horrible!) then you are really, truly missing out- passion fruit curd is possibly my favourite cake filling. This brand in particular, though not easy to come by is incredible.

These biscuits are very, very simple. I use a basic sugar cookie recipe, to which I add any extra flavours I fancy.

For the biscuits:
225g butter
225g caster sugar
1 egg, medium/large
1 tbsp vanilla bean paste
375g plain flour, sifted

For the butter icing:
250g butter
1kg icing sugar
seeds of one vanilla pod
A few spoonfuls of liquid- water or milk
*This makes FAR more than you will need, but freeze the rest and you'll have it on hand for the next batch. Or keep it in the fridge until the best before date on the butter*

Cream the butter and sugar together, then add the egg and vanilla paste and mix well.
Mix in the flour to form a soft dough.
Place a sheet of baking parchment on your work surface, then the dough, then top with another sheet of baking parchment and roll the dough to an even layer about 4mm thick.
Put the sheet of dough into the fridge to set for at least half an hour. Once it's chilled, take it out and cut out circles, then cut a shape from the middle of half of them. I used a heart cutter, but any shape will do! Save the middles- they make lovely little biscuits to serve with coffee.Place the biscuits on a sheet of baking parchment on a baking tray.
Remove the trimmings and put the cut shapes back into the fridge for ten minutes. Chilling time is really important to stop the biscuits from spreading in the oven.
Squish the trimmings back together and keep re-rolling, cutting, chilling etc until you run out... then eat the last bit, raw cookie dough is amazing!

Bake the cookies for about 15 minutes at 180/160 fan and keep checking until the edges begin to go slightly golden brown. Remove from the oven and leave on the tray for a few minutes to cool before placing on a cooling rack to cool completely.

Soften the butter (I stick in in the microwave on full for 30 seconds) and place in a mixer or bowl with the icing sugar and vanilla. Add a little liquid (water or milk) and beat slowly to begin with, speeding up as the icing sugar is incorporated into the butter and liquid. If you are using a hand mixer, mix slowly with a wooden spoon to begin with to lessen the effects of the icing sugar cloud!
Beat for about 5 minutes until really light and fluffy. It should be spreadable, but still hold it's shape.

Once the cookies are cold,  spread each whole circle with some buttercream, then a generous blob of passion fruit curd, or jam, or anything else you fancy, then just add the top with the whole. That's it, simple. I warn you though, you won't want to stop at one!