I had recently relocated to the US with the husband and as a stay home wife, I have plans to lead an enriching life picking up new skills and savouring the contentment of doing things that I enjoy doing but couldn’t do so due to other commitments prior to the relocation.
I absolutely have some serious passion about food and enjoy cooking.
I also love baking but almost never bake an item successfully. For all the failed attempts, I blamed the equipment that I used. Back home, I worked with my mum’s table top oven and an old hand mixer, both which she never ever use. Now that my current apartment comes with a conventional oven, I decided to try baking all over again. I was convinced of my former justification.
A KitchenAid stand mixer was what I wanted for the longest time but couldn’t own one due to its exorbitant price tag. From where I come from, it costs $1,018 for one and that is about US$725! I could get 3 of these here! And so, this Valentine’s Day, the husband gifted me a 5qt KA stand mixer in white on white! I was soooo excited to start baking!
For a (re)start, I thought I should attempt an easy item. This jam cookie recipe which I used was adapted from one of my favourite instagrammers @mamiaoyagi. I always wanted to try baking these as they looked so pretty and seemed easy to make.
I doubled the recipe and meticulously performed the steps it called for. When the mixture was ready, I got the jitters because I was afraid to see the cookie dough fall apart. Thank god it stayed intact. I heaved a sigh of relief. I could either have the dough shaped the fuss-free way – divided into balls, flattened and then indented. Or I could also cut the dough with a cookie cutter into shapes of my choice and then create the indents. I decided to go with the latter and chose a daisy flower shaped cookie cutter as I saw how pretty the cookies would turn out on @mamiaoyagi’s blog. The dough cut outs were then placed in the refrigerator for just over an hour. I read that refrigerating the dough would give time for the ingredients to get together and produce a more profound taste. It would also be easier to manage the dough. I had filled the indents with my favourite apricot and strawberry jams before popping it into the preheated oven at 320F/160C for about 15 minutes. The cookies were ready just when the edges of the cookies turned light brown.
I was over the moon when I saw how gorgeous the cookies turned out! I was so contented with the results! The aroma of freshly baked cookies filled my kitchen and I am loving it! Finally, I baked something successfully!
Just a point to note, the finished product looked a little different from the ones @mamiaoyagi made. I used almond flour/meal and hence mine had visible specks of brown almond skin and didn’t look as smooth as compared to hers. I would definitely try the recipe again with grounded skinless almond flour.
When the cookies cooled, I took a bite of it and OH-EM-GEE…! These pretty babies had a crumbly texture and a luscious flavour profile that’s buttery + nutty. The jams added texture and a tarty twist to the aromatic cookie base.
I packed them in bags for few of my friends and they were totally loving them! A few had asked for second bags!
A very encouraging start on my baking journey!