Jam drops are a classic Australian home-baked treat. These biscuits have maintained popularity because they can be baked quickly, easily and economically because no specialty ingredients are needed. Jam drops can be baked from pantry-shelf staples (flour, sugar and jam). While recipes for jam drops may vary from home to home, they are a great entry-level recipe for new cooks because the traditional recipe almost always relies on only five ingredients (butter, sugar, egg, flour, jam). For many children, a jam drop is often the first cookie or biscuit recipe they attempt to make alone.
The littlebaking repertoire would not be complete without the inclusion of a jam drop, however our version represents somewhat of a re-interpretation of the classic recipe. Jam drops stem from a very English baking tradition and we wanted to pay homage to the cultural diversity which represents an important part of contemporary Australian community life. In the western district of Sydney, from Harris Park and Parramatta right across to the inner west suburb of Campsie, Sydney-siders are blessed with an abundance of Indian grocers, offering a range of spices, sauces and chutneys to excite any home-baker. Our jam drop is spicy, hot and sweet. Toasted coconut and chunky chutney also help to change the texture of the biscuit as well.
Half cup soft butter
Half cup caster sugar
Half teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon of dried chilli flakes and seeds
Half cup desiccated coconut (toasted – add to mix while still warm)
2 cups plain flour + 4 teaspoons baking powder (or simply, 2 cups SR flour)
Bottle of hot or sweet mango chutney of choice
Preheat oven to 180C. Beat butter and sugar together until creamed. While these ingredients are being mixed, toast coconut in oven. Add chilli, cumin and cinnamon to butter and sugar. Beat. Add toasted coconut (while still warm) directly to spiced butter and sugar. Beat well. Add egg. Beat. Add flour and baking powder last (no need to sift). Will not require much mixing at all. Mix should be a soft dough, but firm.
Line baking tray with paper. Take teaspoon size blobs of dough, and roll into a smooth round shape and drop on tray. Biscuits will spread a little on baking, so don’t place too close together. Make a small depression, finger-tip size, in the centre of each biscuit. Put small amount of chutney into the well of each biscuit (not too much, as chutney will tend to run when heated).