Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Peanut Butter Jam Jams

Peanut Butter Jam Jams
Dorcas Annette Walker

I came across a recipe the other day that instantly reminded me of my mother. Like I’ve said before my mother didn’t have time to do a lot of cooking due to having to take care of my father, who had severe hemophilia, and working full time as a nurse to keep a roof over our heads. Then just as she was ready for retirement the HIV that she was infected with from my father turned into AIDS and she died. Despite the fact the daily duties of life kept my mother on the edge of physical exhaustion, my mother was quite creative- a gene passed down to both my sister and I. So I can remember quite clearly the day my mother baked a different kind of cookie than ever before. We were quite entranced and eager to help while my practical father sitting in a wheelchair nearby shook his head and snorted about the waste of time and nonsense our mother was engaged in. That day remains a special memory in my mind; an overworked mother baking cookies and letting two giggling little girls’ help- a process that I am sure slowed things down considerably. I forget which one of us had the honor of making a cookie ball, while the other flattened down the middle with a spoon, with our mother finishing up by carefully placing a dab of jam in the middle. We could hardly wait for the first taste and when we had sampled the warm cookies we declared them to be the best ever. The old fashion, yet new to us, cookie was called “Jam Polka Dots”. When I got married it was one recipe that I made sure to copy down. Over the years I slowly forgot about those cookies after making some for my children when they were in school. To my kids store bought cookies and snacks were considered a treat compared to the homemade cookies that were always available. After my daughter was grown I found out she used my homemade cookies for barter at school to kids that only had store bought snacks. They were thrilled to get homemade cookies while she was enthralled over their store bought treats. I had to laugh at the irony as growing up we always had store bought cookies and to us homemade cookies were the ultimate treat. Discovering my mother’s recipe again I pulled it out and put it in a place I wouldn’t forget to make for my grandchildren during the Christmas holidays. Interesting enough I came across a couple of other recipes that were similar yet different, which got my mind to buzzing. So the other day I got out my big mixing bowl and decided to make up a batch of these cookies combining some of the different ingredients together. I came up with what I call Peanut Butter Jam Jams. I was intrigued with the idea of adding peanut butter to the dough, which brought back instant memories of school days when we ate peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Knowing my mother she would be pleased with my creative twist to her cookies.

Peanut Butter Jam Jams are a decorative cookie that despite its small size is quite filling. These eye-catching cookies are perfect for the holidays. Contrary to one’s first opinion, Peanut Butter Jam Jams are not a real sweet cookie making it an ideal snack between meals. The crunchy peanut butter oat cookie contrasts with the smooth jelly filling on top. This recipe of Peanut Butter Jam Jams makes three-and- one-half dozen finished cookies and takes about ten minutes preparation.

Peanut Butter Jam Jams

In a large bowl cream together:
1 c shortening
1 c peanut butter (I used chunky)
1 c brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
3 c self-rising flour
1½ c quick-cooking rolled oats
Mix thoroughly. Dough will be of a dry consistency. Form dough into one inch balls and place on well greased cookie sheets. Make a depression in the center by using your thumb or a teaspoon. Fill with ½ tsp of jelly or jam (use different kinds of jelly for variation in colors). Bake at 350º for ten minutes. Let cool and serve on a decorative plate!

Dorcas Annette Walker is a freelance writer, author, columnist, and photographer from Jamestown, TN. If you have any cooking tips or favorite recipes you are welcome to contact me by mail at: Dorcas Walker, 929 Wildwood Lane, Jamestown, TN 38556 or email me at: dorcaswalker@yahoo.com. For more information about the Walker family and Dorcas’ books check out her website at: www.dorcasannettewalker.com or htpp://dorcasannettewalker.blogspot.com for other Creative Mountain Cookin recipes.


Annie said...

I may have to keep myself from reading your blog -- the food is way too delicious, and the added stories and trivia is really interesting. Thank you, this is a very nice site. I can see I'll be trying a lot of these recipes!

Dorcas Annette Walker said...

Thanks for checking out my cooking blog. Have fun trying the recipes!