Jam Drops are one of those quintessential baked goodies that most Australians my age would relate to their childhood.
For me, Jam Drops were a no-frills biscuit that my Mum would throw together as a last minute school lunchbox snack or for afternoon tea during the school holidays. Let me tell you, there is nothing better than a Jam Drop, warm from the oven, with chewy jam in the centre. Absolute heaven!
On the weekend I was thumbing through my Mum's dog-eared recipe books and found this gem so I thought I'd take a nostalgic trip back in time, putting my own spin on the recipe with the addition of coconut. You can use whatever type of jam you like, but my preference is either strawberry or apricot. I'd recommend using one that doesn't have seeds as they make for an unpleasant experience, in my opinion.
How to bake the perfect biscuit
When you are baking these biscuits - or any biscuit for that matter - remember that no two ovens are the same. This means that cooking times and temperatures may vary slightly.
When I try a new biscuit recipe, I place one tray in the oven for the first lot, and I monitor it to see how long they take to reach peak perfection. I have long had a habit of sitting on the kitchen floor in front of the oven and watching biscuits and cakes cook away! Now I'm not suggesting you go that far, but just keep an eye on them. Once you've done that the first time around, you can then set a timer for the second batch and turn your attention to other things, like washing the dishes (oh, joy of joys!). Don't forget to note down any adjustments to times and temperatures in your recipe book, so that next time you're set.
Jam Drop Biscuits
110g butter, softened
¾ caster sugar, plus 2 extra tablespoons for rolling
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups self-raising flour
2 tablespoons of dessicated coconut
½ cup of jam
1. Preheat oven to 180⁰C. Line 2-3 large biscuit slides with baking paper.
2. Cream the butter, sugar and vanilla using stand mixer or hand held electric beaters. If all else fails, a sturdy wooden spoon and lots of elbow grease will do the trick!
3. Add eggs one at a time, beating in well.
4. Sift in the flour and fold to combine.
5. Place the extra caster sugar and coconut into a small bowl and mix to combine evenly.
6. Roll the mixture into small balls (about 2 teaspoons) and roll/dip in the sugar mix. Place on the tray about 4cm apart.
7. Gently make a hole in the top of each biscuit with the top of your index finger and then use a teaspoon to gently put a little bit of jam in each hole. Don't go too crazy with the jam, just fill to the top of the hole otherwise when it gets hot it will run everywhere and burn on your tray.
8. Bake for 15 minutes or until the biscuits are golden. If you prefer a chewier biscuit, take them out earlier.
9. Allow to cool on tray for 5 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely - if you can wait that long!