Baking Biscuits

Peanut butter and jam rings

jam rings

As I type, today is the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year. Therefore, Spring is pretty much round the corner. From here on in, days get longer and the sun is pretty much round the corner, you can almost feel the heat (opps, no sorry, that’s the electric blanket I forgot to turn off). But for now, the mornings are still frosty and crisp and my body is screaming out to go into hibernation (Just 5 more minutes in bed! *Rolls over. Hit the snooze button for the fifth time, realise there is NO time left to snooze and now don’t have enough time to shower and have wear a hat all day to hide my greasy barnet*). Go to work in the dark, leave in the dark, just dark dark dark. All there is to look forward to in January is a rumoured new series of Peaky Blinders and Call The Midwife. Such grim days call for joyous snacks, especially of the sweet kind. My personal preference is a festive biscuit selection box. Custard creams! Bourbons! Chocolate digestives! All the winners are there and waiting to be dunked into a tea whilst curled on the sofa waiting for the wretched winter to pass.

jam rings

Another firm fave in the selection box is a jam ring. So simple, crumbly short biscuit filled with a ring of vanilla cream and a dollop of jam in the middle. Perfection. This recipe takes this humble biccie to the next level with the introduction of peanut butter. The key to creating a great biscuit is to ensure the dough is not overworked. Once you have added your flour and it has formed an even dough, stop mixing. When you roll it out, only roll it out twice before discarding the leftovers or the end result will become tough. It is important to chill your dough as this stops them speading in the oven. With the peanut filling, once the icing sugar has been added, leave it to beat for around 5 minutes to ensure a light and whipped texture.

jam rings

Peanut butter and jam rings

Makes around 10 biscuits

  • 200g unsalted butter, room temp
  • 110g icing sugar
  • 250g plain flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • 2 egg yolks
  • Jar of raspberry jam
  • 300g smooth peanut butter
  • 100g butter
  • 300g icing sugar
  • 3 tablespoons full fat milk
  1. Sift into a bowl your icing sugar, flour and salt. Add your butter and mix until you get fine breadcrumbs. Add the vanilla paste and yolks and mix until the dough just comes together.
  2. Pop into cling film and put in the fridge for a couple of hours. Take out of the fridge around 45 minutes before you want to use it to allow to become rollable.
  3. In the mean time, put the oven on to heat up to 170 degrees.
  4. Lightly flour a surface and a rolling pin. Roll out your dough to around 4 mm thick. Using cutters, cut out a top and bottom for each biscuit. For the top biscuits, use a smaller cutter to make hole in the middle. Put onto a baking tray and bake for around 12-15 minutes, you want the edges to be a light brown.
  5. When removed from the oven, sprinkle caster sugar on the biscuit tops with a hole in the middle. Leave to chill for around 5 minutes before moving to a wire rack to cool completly.
  6. To make the peanut butter cream, beat together the butter and peanut butter. Then add the icing sugar and milk slowly. Beat for 5 minutes until light and fluffy.
  7. Put into a piping bag with a wide nozzle and on the base biscuits, create a large circle like in the picture below. In the middle pop a teaspoon of jam then put the top biscuit on. Repeat until all biscuits are sandwiched.

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