‘How do you possibly have the time to bake all of those things??’
I got asked this question again today at uni by some friends who follow my blog. It’s probably the most common food-related question I get asked, after ‘What are you going to bake next?’ or ‘When are you bringing me some?’
To answer how I have the time to bake – quite simply, I just do. My life at the moment is split between work, uni, baking, and the gym. Whenever I’m not doing one out of those four, I’m doing another. And that’s how I roll. Baking for me is what reading novels or going to the beach does for someone else – but it not only relaxes me, but provides me with a sense of achievement, delicious things to photograph and the irresistible waft of scrumptious things floating through the house!
However today I have a charitable reason to bake. I’m part of a society at Macquarie University called Sweets by Sweets, who do charity bake sales and various other events where goodies are devoured. The charity we are raising money for this time is Angel Flight, a charity that coordinates non-emergency flights to help country people trying to deal with the triple trouble of bad health, poor finances and daunting distances. All flights are free and may involve patients travelling to medical facilities anywhere in Australia (you can view their website here).
I’ve been eyeing up this recipe for a while in my Women’s Weekly Afternoon Tea Collection cookbook, and with my purchase of some new scrummy raspberry conserve, this seemed the perfect opportunity to trial this recipe.
To make approximately 24 jam drops, you will need:
- 125g butter, softened;
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla paste;
- 1/2 cup caster sugar;
- 1 cup almond meal;
- 1 cup plain flour;
- 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon rind;
- 1/3 cup raspberry jam;
- 2 tablespoons apricot jam.
1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celcius. Line four oven trays with baking paper.
2. Beat the butter, vanilla, sugar and almond meal in a small bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg before stirring in the sifted flour.
3. Divide the rind between both of the jams and mix well.
4. Roll tablespoons of the mixture into balls, and place about 5cm apart (2 inches) on the trays (so that’s about six per tray). Flatten slightly. Using the end of a wooden spoon (or any round-ended implement about 1cm in diameter), press a flower shape, about half a centimetre deep, into the dough.
Fill each hole with a little bit of jam, using raspberry jam for petals of flowers and apricot jam for centres. I found this to be the most finicky and ‘ARGH’-inducing part of the whole process:
Adding apricot jam to the centres….
And then add the raspberry. Oopsie, there’s a smear!
5. Bake the drops for about 15 minutes per tray. Cool completely on trays before transferring to a wire rack.
These biscuits will keep in an airtight container for up to two days… if you can resist not gobbling them up all in the one day 😉
Can I just say, the SMELL from these baking is absolutely incredible. Now while these are supposed to be for the bake sale, the mixture made a couple extra so I had a nibble of one that was a little on the burned side and almost swooned. Jammy, buttery, sensational. Adding the lemon rind to the jam really takes off that too-sweet edge that excessive jam can create.
Ciao, lovelies… Have a beautiful weekend x