I love, love, love jam fancies. So simple, so sweet. Dad used to pick up a packet of Kookaburra brand whenever we were in Kerang or Swan Hill and we'd scoff them all on the way home. No mean feat for a packet of around 20 sugary treats. I'm beginning to see where all my poor food habits formed. We'd pull apart the layers, lick off the jam and crunch on the biscuits in the back of the 1980s maroon Catholic wagon all the way back to the farm. Four kids would pile out of the car covered in crumbs and telltale pink sticky cheeks, all hepped up on sugar.
These are more delicate than those chunky chestnuts. I have rolled my dough quite thin because this is sweet biscuit - any thicker and they might be a little cloying. Plus I feel way less guilty about seven in one sitting than I would with a thick monster biscuit.
You could make your own jam here. I've been told it's simple once you have the knack. But despite my crazy complex baking expeditions, I've never made my own jam. My aunties and Mum are absolute masters so I've never had the need. Not that requiring a need has ever prevented me from baking, so I suppose you could say I'm a little scared of jam-making. I'll be shown to be the baking-fraud you've always suspected I am (or I've always suspected you've suspected I am - is the paranoia clear enough now or shall I keep digging?)
A basic sugar biscuit with store-bought jam and you have yourself a crazy good guilty pleasure to enjoy with your afternoon tea (or morning tea or midnight snack or I'm-having-a-bad-day-so-quit-judging-me-and-my-snack-choices-snack). Best keep the biscuit jar on the top shelf for these.
300g caster sugar
pinch of salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
675g plain flour
20g baking powder
Your choice of jam - approximately 1 cup
Preheat the oven to 190 degrees celsius. Line a baking sheet with baking paper.
Cream the butter, sugar and salt with the paddle attachment in an electric mixer under pale and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time and beat to combine. Add milk and vanilla extract and mix on medium speed for a further 30 seconds. Add the flour and baking powder and mix on low until all the flour is incorporated. Do not overmix. Turn the mixture out on plastic and chill for 25 minutes.
Flour your bench top and roll the dough out to around 1/2cm thick. Using a 5-9cm cutter, cut out circles and place on baking tray. For half your biscuit shapes, cut a small circle out of the middle. (I neglected to perform this step until after the cookies had baked. It's not the end of the world - no point crying over holeless biscuits). Bake cookies for 10-12 minutes or until they are just turning golden on the edges. Cool on the tray.
Loosen your jam by popping it in a mug in the microwave for 30 seconds. Spoon teaspoons of jam onto the full biscuit and top with the holey one. Enjoy!