Tuesday, August 10, 2010

cranberry and date jammy biscuits (for Paperchef)

I seem to have an incurable sweet tooth. I have stopped trying to be rid of it and now I just try to manage my sweet intake. I enjoy three squares of dark chocolate each evening and looking forward to them keeps me from bingeing on sugar most of the time. And as for desserts, I have decided recently that it would be sensible to only eat dessert on social occasions. Then I really enjoy the company and the sweet stuff, and on "ordinary" days I avoid eating a whole batch of cookies myself.

We are having company for dinner tonight and these jammy biscuits are the dessert. They are also an invention for Paperchef, a cooking challenge to use four randomly chosen ingredients; I developed this recipe to use cranberries, dates, candied peel, and flour. I have a confession, though; despite my visit to the most upmarket supermarket on Hong Kong Island, I was unable to find any candied peel. And I know it can be made at home, but I'm afraid I didn't have time for this. So I used lemon rind instead, that I keep on hand in the fridge--and add to every time I use a lemon. (I hope Alessio forgives me.)

These biscuits are quite easy to make: they are made with two cranberry-studded sugar cookies, with jammy date, cranberry, and lemon filling sandwiched between them. I have never had a rolling pin.... In the past I have used a wine bottle, but there were no empty ones today so I used this cold can of Coke! As a bonus, I think that helped keep the dough cold.

Cranberry and Date Jammy Biscuits
makes about 20 sandwich cookies and a few little babies on the side
inspired by recipes from The Joy of Cooking and The Neighbourhood Bakeshop

for the cookies:
1/2 c (110 g) granulated sugar
1/2 c (115 g) unsalted butter
2 eggs
2 1/2 c to 2 3/4 c plain flour
2 t baking powder
1 t vanilla extract
1/4 c (50 g) finely chopped dried cranberries

for the jammy filling:
3/4 c (150 g) of a mixture of finely chopped dried cranberries and dried dates
1/4 c (50 g) soft brown sugar
1 T plain flour
1/4 c (60 ml) water
1 t finely chopped lemon rind

First, make the cookie dough. In a large bowl, cream together the sugar and butter.
Mix in the eggs, flour, baking powder, vanilla extract, and dried cranberries and combine well.
Cover and put in the freezer for 45 minutes or the fridge for 3 or 4 hours.

Meanwhile, make the jammy filling.
Combine all the ingredients in a small saucepan and heat gently until thickened, about 5 minutes.
Set aside to cool.

Prepare baking trays with parchment paper.
Roll the dough out thinly and use cutters to cut shapes, half with holes in the middle.
Place a cookie on the baking tray and then use two teaspoons to spread some filling on top. On top, place a cookie with a hole and press the edges together.
Continue, using all the dough to make cookie sandwiches, re-rolling the dough as necessary.
Bake at 375 F (190 C) for 12 minutes until golden brown. Cool on a rack.
Enjoy with friends after dinner! Great with coffee.

The Paperchef challenge happens each month on the first weekend, and appeals to me because I get to develop my own recipe. I have been enjoying participating in the Daring Cooks and Fresh from the Oven challenges, but these differ because the recipe is provided for me. Feel free to join in the next Paperchef adventure; the ingredients are chosen on the Wednesday before the first full weekend of the month.


AnnaMcC said...

Such beautiful photos Sarah! Well done!

Deeba PAB said...

Love how you brought these together. I had the pleasure of hosting Paper Chef once, and it was an amazing experience. Well done Sarah! Good luck for the challenge!

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Wonderful creative biscuits and I do love biscuits.

Alessio said...

These are really cute biscuits Sarah. The cold coke trick is something to keep in mind, thanks for the tip! :D
What did your guests think of them? ;)

sarah said...

Anna, thanks for the encouragement!

Deeba, thanks. Hosting Paperchef means you must have won it once! :)

MyKitchenInHalfCups, your fruit bread is yummy looking. I love the dark maroon crust.

Alessio, everyone seemed to like them. They were quite rich tasting for a cookie. I stashed the leftovers in the fridge for the next time guests stop by unannounced. Thanks for hosting a great challenge!

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