I’ve never really understood the whole peanut butter and jelly thing. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for weird and wonderful food couplings (apple and cheese, jam and cheese, Coca-Cola and French bread are a few examples), but this American pair seemed just a bit too much for me.
So when I was asked to bake some cookies for work, I was hesitant in choosing this recipe but was won over by the simple ingredients list, and the fact that I had a big jar of peanut butter to get through.
The first step to the recipe is simple: mix the raspberry jam with the corn flour. Easy! Then it was a matter of whisking the ‘wet’ ingredients together, sifting in the ‘dry’ ingredients and mixing until a soft dough is formed.
I then cut out two rectangular pieces of baking parchment to sandwich my dough in before rolling it out. This part of the recipe is either surprisingly difficult, or I’m just that bad at using a rolling pin. Regardless of which it is, I spent a while breaking off excess dough that came out of the ‘rectangle’ and adding it onto areas that weren’t quite covered.
I eventually managed to get a rectangular-shaped dough and spread the raspberry jam over it. I found that there really wasn’t that much jam in comparison to the amount of dough so I cheated and made an extra 1/3 of the raspberry/corn flour mixture and spread it out evenly.
Now came the actual hard part – rolling the dough up ‘Swiss-roll’ style, I’d never done this before and was actually pretty excited about finally getting a go. Trying to create the first twist is the hardest part and, to my extreme horror, my dough cracked in places. I started to rush, which actually helped and I managed to roll up the rest of the dough pretty easily and quickly wrapped it in cling film before I could break anything else.
The recipe stated to leave the dough in the fridge overnight but, as I was on a bit of a tight schedule, I put it in the freezer for 30 minutes and then in the fridge for 40 minutes. Some might call this cheating but I prefer the term ‘quick fix’.
Once the dough had set, it was sliced into 2cm slices and spread out on my one and only baking tray. I have somehow managed to lose quite a few of my baking trays – either they’ve sprouted legs and run away from me or someone has decided they need more kitchen cupboard space… Hmm… The plus side to this is that you can only put around 8 cookies into the oven at a time, this meant that by the time I’d finished baking, I knew the exact time required for a perfectly baked cookie: 13 minutes.
One cooled these delicious-looking biscuits were packed up and carted off to work the next day. I was hesitant to try any in the morning and avoided the staff kitchen until just after lunch. Thankfully I seemed to get there just in time, as there were only a few cookies left! The taste test was finally upon me and I had to face my fear of peanut butter and jam… oh… my… wow! Any reservation I had about this food coupling has been completely shattered; it’s completely addictive! The cookies were delicious; they had enough of a sugary kick but weren’t sickly sweet in any way. The raspberry provided a tartness that offset the peanut butter beautifully. Definitely a recipe I’d make again.