Tuition for my first year of college, at a good private school in Portland, cost $800. You may deduce that I wasn’t born yesterday. By the time I graduated, it cost $1500. I got a great education. I was a physics major who minored in Russian. Look at me now.
Tonight, in Manhattan, dinner for two with good wine can easily cost $800. You can make it $1500 by just shifting from one column of the wine list to another.
Those great restaurants with the serious prices, and wonderful wine lists, often end the meal with some very surprising cookies offered next to the final tab. For example, Michael Hatnell, chef at Le Caprice at The Pierre, provides a Jammy Dodger. Dodger here has nothing to do with Brooklyn baseball. These are a popular British dessert with two shortbread cookies sandwiched using jam. One or two bites of these cookies, and the bill for dinner seems to bite you less.
Tracey Zabar has thankfully collected this Jammy Dodger recipe, along with many others from the best New York restaurants, in her compilation One Sweet Cookie.
There are many obvious temptations in One Sweet Cookie. My next experiments will include:
- Double Chocolate fudge Cookies
- Pecan and Chocolate Cookies
- Sugar Topped Molasses Spice Cookies
- Macadamia Milk Chocolate Peppermint Cookies
How to proceed? One cookie at a time. And these Jammy Dodgers are just the way to start. The shortbread gives the body and substance, and of course, the flavor to this cookie. Needless to say, use the best butter you can. Flour needs to be fresh. If your flour has been sitting around in that can for a few months, dump and get fresh. It does, truly does, make a difference.
Raspberry jam? It’s a great choice here with that raspberry tartness challenging the shortbread for the flavor lead. But other jams are surely fine. Strawberry, blackberry, … Look on that shelf and find a treat for yourself and these cookies.
Yield: 7 large sandwich cookies
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon g r a n u l a t e d sugar
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- ¼ cup plain yogurt
- 2 tablespoons milk
- Raspberry jam, as needed
- Confectioners’ sugar for dusting [optional]
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line two half-sheet pans with parchment paper.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the flour, salt, sugar, baking powder, and baking soda. Rub in the butter until the mixture is the consistency of bread crumbs. Add the yogurt and milk to form a rough dough. Do not overmix. Set aside, and allow the dough to rest for about 15 minutes.
Roll out the dough until it is about ½ inch thick. Cut out the dough with a 2 ½-inch square cookie cutter. With a ½-inch round cookie cutter [or smaller], cut out a small porthole in corner of half of the cookies. Place them all on the prepared pans.
Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until golden. Cool completely on wire racks.
Turn over the cookies without the holes and pipe or spoon a dollop of jam onto each one. Dust the tops of the cookies with the holes with confectioners’ sugar tapped through a small sieve. Sandwich the top and bottom cookie together. Press to secure. Serve and enjoy.
Source: One Sweet Cookie by Tracey Zabar