Bookish bites : Where’s Tumpty? jammy biscuits (part 1)
So let’s start with Where’s Tumpty? by Polly Dunbar (Walker Books). A big hit with my boy and one of the books that I often hear him role playing on his own in the living room while I’m off in the kitchen doing, making, laundering (clothes)… “where’s Tumpty” “oh, here he is, behind the sofa” “let’s eat biscuits” “oh, Tumpty ate all the biscuits.” “He’s hiding.” Lovely. Any regular readers of this blog will know that I am just an enormous fan of everything that Polly Dunbar does. Her work is wonderful and this book is a real treat, especially the illustrations.
These are the biscuits:
Well, they could easily be cranberry cookies or similar but for that red line around their edge that suggests only one thing to me. Jam. We read the book first.
And then Milo and I set about making some jammy biscuits with dots on (and stars, as that’s Milo’s favourite cookie cutter shape at the moment). Here’s the recipe we used – a tweaked version of one in Hilaire Walden’s Cookies:
1 cup blanched almonds – grind these with a few tablespoons of the flour
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
grated rind of one lemon1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 cup raspberry jam
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy.
Add the lemon rind and vanilla essence and mix.
Next, mix the ground almonds and remaining flour in to make a dough.
Pop the dough into the fridge for about an hour whilst tidying up the mess! Heat your oven to about 170/325 degrees and once the hour’s up, get your dough out of the fridge and start rolling out. We used a round cookie cutter, and then for the tops to get the dotty effect I pierced little holes in the dough with a chopstick. Milo wasn’t terribly faithful to the book and used his star cutter.
Put the cut out biscuits in the oven for about 12 minutes or until golden brown.
Once cooled, it’s jam time! In a thick saucepan heat the cup of jam and the lemon juice up to a gentle simmer.
When working with hot jam it is really best to keep little people out of the way. The temptation of jam combined with the scorching temperature it can reach can be dangerous. Sadly for Milo, this meant that I got to do the best bit on my own. Sandwiching the biscuit. That little finger is Milo’s at full stretch choosing his biscuit! You don’t have to heat the jam necessarily, but it does help with the sticking.
We took them, Where’s Tumpty?, some trains, Beru bear and Cranky the Crane to the park for a picnic.
This is a great recipe… and adding the lemon to the jam gives the middle an extra, very welcome zing. Milo’s verdict: “Another one please mummy. I like jam.”
Part 2 of our fun with Where’s Tumpty? – we’re making a bright, yellow house. Stay tuned tomorrow.