Monday, July 20, 2015

Banbury Tarts

I clipped this one out of the L.A. Times's annual Holiday Cookie contest.  I thought it was from last year, but the link says 2010.  Either way, they are very good.

Banbury Tarts are a variation of a thumbprint cookie.  It's a stiff cookie dough that you make a dent in and fill with jam before baking.  There is no leavening agent in these, as it would displace the jam.  They are traditionally made with a red jam, but I had the last of the guava jam in the fridge and decided to use that.  It made for an unusually tangy cookie, but saved me a trip to the store for jam when I decided to make them at the last moment for tea.

I'm posting a half recipe, as it still made over two dozen cookies.  I used the egg white in the biscotti instead of milk, which was the original recipe anyway.

3/4 C butter
1/2 C sugar
1 egg yolk
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 C flour
seedless jelly or jam

1.  Preheat oven to 375º.

2.  Cream together butter and sugar until fluffy, about 5 minutes.  Beat in egg and vanilla until smooth.  Add the flour gradually and beat in until smooth.  The dough will form a ball in the mixer and pull away from the sides.

3.  Form the dough into one-inch balls and place about 2" apart on a baking sheet.  Using your thumb or the rounded back of a half-teaspoon, press down on each ball to make a depression.  Spoon half a teaspoon of jam into the depression.

4.  Bake cookies until lightly browned, about 15 minutes.  Do not boil the jam, or it will harden when it cools.  Let the cookies sit on the baking sheet for a couple of minutes, then move to a rack to cool.

Makes about 2-1/2 dozen

Difficulty rating  π

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