Jam Drop Cookies: Peppermint Tea

This week it was hard to find motivation to do anything really. I’ve started to exercise more frequently and even though I feel like I’m semi-addicted to hitting the gym every couple of days, it was even a struggle to drag myself out of bed to go. The part where I felt the lack of motivation most was at work.

I just went through a phase where I didn't really know what I was doing or why I was doing it. I was probably just going through one of those “what is the meaning of life” moments but I really just felt a lack of inspiration. Does anyone else have those moments? Even the air felt harder to walk through.

So I’m sitting in this slump at 10am on Thursday morning, usually the most productive time of the day for me, and I decide to make myself some tea. I walk to the kitchen, grab my pink mug and some tea, silently thanking technology for giving me instant boiling water out of a tap and return to my desk. I sit down and take a deep breath. The smell of warm peppermint fills my head and I’m taken back to our road trip to Sorrento.

Before Curtis left for England, we went down to Sorrento for a weekend. This was where Mervin made us all fall in love with peppermint tea. Yes, our groupo is quirky like that. We would put some water in the kettle and make 6 or 7 glasses of the stuff, adding a teaspoon (or a tablespoon) of honey to each. It was in the middle of winter so we’d snuggle in our sleeping bags with the warm cups and just be together. The first night we did this we were watching Star Trek and we all fell asleep because we’re such party animals.

It was such a nice weekend full of laughs and fun and just really, really good feelings of friendship and the smell of peppermint just brought me back. I took a sip of my tea and there was literally a warm and fuzzy feeling in my stomach. That’s when I thought maybe this is why. Maybe this is why I work hard every day and keep going at work. It’s because I know what I’m working for. I’m working so that I can have time with friends. I’m here so that I can make memories like the weekend in Sorrento, or High Tea with the only group of boys at the Grand Hyatt. I’m working so that I have the resources to do the things I want to do in life, to make my contribution in society, so I may as well do it to the best of my abilities.

Just the smell of the minty tea gave me the motivation I needed to keep going, and I’m glad it did.

I made these cookies with my cousins Josh and Sean, so credit goes to most of the photos to Sean, and to plenty of the actual baking to Josh and Sean. Thanks for all your help boys!

Baker’s notes

Make these cookies slightly larger than marble size, it is easy to make them a bit too big because they will spread in the oven. As they do spread, make sure that you leave space between them to allow for this.

The dough is quite a soft and sticky dough, so it really does need at least 2 hours to set in the fridge to make it easier to work with when you roll it out.

Piping the jam is the easiest way to get it neatly into the holes, just make sure the piping hole is nice and small so you don’t create a mess like I did. If you don't have a piping bag, use a zip lock bag and snip a tiny corner off.

- Recipe -

Jam Drop Cookies
Adapted from “Thumbprint Cookies” in Miette: Recipes from San Francisco’s most charming pastry shop by Meg Ray
Makes about 36

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon fine salt
¾ cup (150g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ cup (100g) sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 large free-range egg
About ½ cup fruit jam (I used raspberry and apricot)

In a medium sized bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.

In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, or with an electric hand held mixer, cream together the butter, vanilla and sugar for about 5 minutes or until pale and fluffy. Add the egg and beat again until combined.

Add the rest of the dry ingredients and beat until combined to form a soft and sticky dough. Pour the dough onto some plastic glad wrap, form into a ball and place in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours up to 2 days.

Preheat the oven to 175 degrees Celsius.

Line two baking trays with baking paper and roll out teaspoon sized balls with your hands and place them on the trays with space between them to let them spread.

Bake for 12 – 14 minutes or until golden and, turn the oven off  and take the trays out one out a time so that you can quickly indent each of the cookies while they’re still warm with the end of a wooden spoon or some other small circular utensil.

Pipe the jam into the holes and allow the jam to set for about 30 minutes. Enjoy with a cup or warm peppermint tea.

Have a great week, and I hope you find your motivation somewhere too.

From Jen. 

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