True story: I made it to my mid-thirties without ever being asked to contribute something to a bake sale. Some may see that as lucky, but people who like to bake are often people who like to help. We're nurturers. So it was with enthusiasm last week that I answered the call to bring something yummy from home for a fundraising garage sale organized by parents at my son's school. Okay, I may have been one of the parents responsible for putting out that call for goodies, but the important thing is that I did it. Right? Right.
I kinda left the decision of what to bake until the night before, which is sooner than I prepare school lunches so nothing to feel bad about there, and settled on shortbread. Everyone loves shortbread. But in an attempt to make them extra buyable (I'm making that a word), I decided to sandwich some homemade jam between the rounds of shortbread and dust the tops with icing sugar. They may look fancy, but they're actually incredibly simple and fun to assemble. I even cut out the cookies with common household items. No fancy tools required.
If you want to learn how to make jam, my canning classes in Victoria are coming up soon. Check my classes page for info and come spend some time with me in the kitchen. Then you'll be making these peekaboo jam cookies with your own homemade jam in no time.
Here's how I made them:
makes one dozen
1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated white sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup jam (any kind)
1 tbsp icing sugar
While my oven preheated to 350 degrees (F), I started by creaming the butter and the sugar. The vanilla was blended in next. Then the flour was added gradually, mixing well between additions. I brought the dough together into a ball with my hands and transferred it to a floured surface. The dough was rolled with a floured rolling pin to about 1/8-inch thickness. Using a 3-inch circular cookie cutter (I used a children's drinking cup), I cut out 12 cookies and transferred them to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Using a 1-inch circular cookie cutter (I used a plastic bottle cap), I cut a circle from the centre of each cookie to form rings. Adding the small circles back into the dough ball, I rolled out again to about 1/8-inch thickness and cut another 12 cookies, this time leaving them whole, and transferred them to another parchment-lined baking sheet. The circle and ring cookies were baked 10-12 minutes just until starting to turn golden around the bottom edges. Once cooled completely, the full circles were smeared with a heaping teaspoon of jam each, and the rings were dusted with the icing sugar through a fine mesh sieve. To assemble, each jam circle was topped with a dusted ring.
Mr. Feedbag was bummed that all my peekaboo jam cookies sold at the bake sale, so I made some more for him at home. Now he's bummed that all these cookies are in the house when he's trying to eat healthy and train for a bicycle event in September. Careful what you wish for because I'll make it! Like I said, I'm a baker/nurturer.
How do you feel about bake sales? Love 'em or hate 'em? Do you have a go-to bake sale item? Leave a comment and share your bake sale thoughts!