If you are wondering how to express your love this Valentines (or Mother’s Day for that matter), why not get your pinny out and bake something simple? My giant jam sandwiches are a larger version of that well known and loved biscuit found in every supermarket in the land.
Freshly baked you will see that they are utterly delicious (no doubt you will be sharing hopefully!) Bake these any time of year of course – no need to wait for Valentines, and of course do change the filling to a favourite jam or spread. I’ve used strawberry jam but a chocolate or caramel would be just as delicious.
Tip: Bake the unfilled biscuit up to a few days ahead, and store in a sealed, airtight container. Once filled they will begin to soften so fill on the day if you can.
If baking is not for you – either by inclination or time, then why not pop along to Waitrose and buy a little box of our Valentines pink heart fairy cakes (as seen in my photo – in trays – and awaiting packing in our bakery)!
Giant jam sandwich biscuits
Makes three 15cm biscuits
For the biscuits:
250g plain flour, plus plenty to dust
100g icing sugar, plus more to dust (optional)
250g unsalted butter, softened and diced
1 egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla extract
6 tbsp strawberry jam, or lemon curd, or caramel spread
5cm heart cutter
You can freeze this dough, or make the biscuits a day ahead. Only dust with icing sugar just before serving.
Preheat the oven to 170°c/fan 160°c/340°F/gas mark 31⁄2.
In a large bowl, sift the flour, cornflour and icing sugar together. Rub in the butter with your fingertips until the mixture resembles crumbs. Add the egg yolk and vanilla extract. Gently bring into a ball, wrap in cling film and rest in the fridge for 30 minutes or so, as this buttery biscuit dough is very soft and needs to firm up.
On a very well-floured board, with a floured rolling pin, roll out half the dough to 4mm thick. If the dough is too soft to work with easily, place the board of rolled-out dough into the fridge (room permitting!) to firm up for 30 minutes or so. Cut out three circles at a time using a 15cm baking tin or a plate as a guide. Repeat with the remaining dough. Cut a heart shape from the centre of three of the biscuits.
Place the biscuits on two or three baking sheets lined with baking parchment and, using the end of a paint brush, make a pattern all around the edges. Rest in the fridge or at room temperature for about 30 minutes. Bake for 12–15 minutes, re-cut the central hearts straight away if necessary, and cool on the baking tray; don’t try to move them until they’re cold.
If the jam is not smooth, warm it slightly in a small pan, then press through a sieve to remove any lumps. Let it cool completely. Spread 2 tbsp jam on to each of the whole biscuits, and dust those with heart- shaped holes with icing sugar, if you like. Place the tops of the biscuits on the bases.