Happy Valentine’s Day! Yes, once again it’s time to bake a variety of heart themed things. This year I went for a British classic: the Jammie Dodger! They are delicious shortbread jam sandwiches with an adorable heart cut out in the top layer. How have these not been promoted to the traditional v-day treat already? Come on people, look at that heart! This Valentine’s I’ve made giant dodgers because I have so much love to give! (And using a small heart cookie cutter is a lot quicker that cutting out tiny ones with a piping nozzle :P)
Maybe one reason for their non-valentine’s status is they are considered kiddie food. In 2009, Jammie Dodgers were the most popular children’s sweet biscuit brand in the United Kingdom, but 40% of the years’ sales were consumed by adults. So why can’t children food be included in our soppy celebrations? Why can’t children get involved in Valentine’s day? Of course they can. I think America including your kids on v-day is more standard than for us Brits. There are some fantastic kids crafts and bakes on Pinterest. When I have kids, sure they’ll be included on the day.
Because Valentine’s Day for me isn’t just about romance. It’s a day about love, all the love you have in your life. Perhaps the day has been commercialised but so has Easter, Halloween and Christmas (and who’s going to boycott them?). Celebrations are what you make of them. maybe I have this mindset because February 14th is also my big sis’ birthday.
Happy Birthday Ashleigh! Have a great day.
She’s going to see Frozen this weekend for the first time so of course her day will be excellent. I’ll be spending the weekend with my boyfriend (it’s a bigger deal if you know he lives 200 miles away) where we will go see the Lego movie (I am so super excited for it) and perhaps a nice meal. Of course, I’ll also be giving him some of these dodgers. Good food and good company: that’s all you need.
No matter who you’re spending today with, whether it’s family, friends or your partner, have a great day 🙂
Right enough of this soppy stuff, back the important stuff- the bake. Do American even have jammy dodgers? Nevermind if you don’t because I’ve made this fantastic recipe. And the homemade version will be even tastier (as proven with my homemade Oreo recipe.)
The recipe is really just a standard vanilla cookie recipe with a few extra steps for construction so you can get the kids involved. I’m sure they will love cutting out the cookies and the hearts, and layering the dodgers with jam. The only remotely fiddly but is when you cut out the hearts, the cookie loses a bit of structural integrity so when you transfer them to the baking tray, be careful they don’t deform from their original circle shape.
Ingredients (makes around 5 cookies)
- 275g (9 1/2 oz) plain flour, sifted (+ more for flouring work surface)
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 100g (3 1/2 oz) caster sugar
- 75g (2 1/2 oz) butter
- 1 egg
- 2 tbsp golden syrup
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- Around half a pot of jam of preference (for an authentic look go strawberry jam, seedless)
You will also need a circular cookie cutter (mine was 10cm (4″) in diameter) and a smaller heart one (around 5cm (2″) wide).
- In a bowl, cream the sugar and butter.
- Add the flour, baking powder.
- Add the egg, golden syrup and vanilla and stir.
- Mix until a dough forms, cover and chill for 30 minutes.
- While waiting for your dough, preheat the oven to 170ºC/ 150ºC fan (340ºF/ 300ºF fan). Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
- On a floured surface, roll the dough until it is 0.5cm (0.2″) thick.
- Using your circular cookie cutter, make 10 circles. Remember each dodger consists of two layers. With your heart cookie cutter, cut out hearts in the centre of 5 of the circles.
- Bake your cookies for 12-15 minutes. You want them firm but not browning (they will be too crispy then).
- Leave to cool on a wire rack and while they are still warm, sprinkle some icing sugar over them.
- To construct your jammie dodger, add a generous splodge of jam to the bottom of one of the full circle cookies. Then press a cookie with a heart on over the top. The jam will very satisfyingly ooze a little bit through the heart.
- Voila! Enjoy with a cup of tea (the standard British accompaniment to a good biscuit).