British Jammy Dodger Biscuits

Biscuits
Jammy Dodgers biscuits. Elaine Lemm
  • Total: 25 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 10 mins
  • Yield: 20 biscuits (12 servings)

Britain is famed for its biscuits (biscuits in the British sense, not American) for which credit is given to the British love of a cup of tea, or cuppa as it is fondly known. In the U.K., biscuits are hard, flat, unleavened flour products, much like cookies or crackers in the U.S.

One biscuit way up high on the list of favorite biscuits in the U.K. is the Jammy (also Jammie) Dodger, a biscuit made from two layers of shortbread-like cookies filled with jam. The type of jam you use can vary. It is also called a Shrewsbury biscuit.

A Jammy Dodger will usually be made with a dark jam such as strawberry, raspberry or blackberry, but it is fine to use your favorite. Lemon curd makes for a lovely biscuit. 

Jammy is a slang word for "lucky" in the UK. So a Jammy Dodger is a scamp or scoundrel who can talk his way out of trouble. It is said that the cookie got its name after the character Roger the Dodger from "The Beano" comics, one of Britain's most popular comics since the 1930s. Dennis the Menace is another character that came out of "The Beano."

Jammie Dodgers are the brand name for the cookie that has been produced for more than 50 years by Burton's Biscuits Company in the U.K.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups/300 grams all-purpose flour (plus extra for rolling out)
  • 4 1/2 tablespoons (65 grams) caster sugar (you can use powdered or any super-fine sugar)
  • 1 teaspoon salt (sea salt flakes or kosher)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 4 ounces (125 grams) butter (very cold)
  • 1/4 cup double cream (you can use heavy or whipping cream)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 vanilla pod (seeds removed or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract)
  • 6 tablespoons jam
  • Garnish: icing sugar to decorate (powdered or confectioner's sugar)

Steps to Make It

  1. Place the flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder into the bowl of a food processor. Chop the cold butter into small pieces and add to the processor. Pulse several times until the mixture resembles fine sand.

  2. Lightly whisk the cream with the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla seeds. With the food processor running, slowly pour the egg and cream mixture through the top funnel. Stop as soon as the mixture comes together.

  3. Tip the dough onto a lightly floured worktop and gently bring it together into a ball.

  4. Wrap the pastry in plastic wrap and let it rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes or up to 24 hours. 

  5. Before cooking, heat the oven to 325 F (160 C).

  6. Once the dough has rested, take it from the fridge and let it come to room temperature (about 15 minutes). 

  7. Heavily dust the work surface with plain (all-purpose flour). Roll out the dough to 1/4-inch thickness (1/2-centimeter).

  8. Using a 2-inch (5-centimeter) plain or fluted cookie cutter, cut as many biscuits as possible, you should be able to make at least two dozen.

  9. On half of the biscuits, cut out a small 1/4-inch hole (1/2-centimeter) hole from the center. 

  10. Lay the biscuits both with and without holes onto a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper or baking parchment (you may need to do this in batches depending on the size of your tray). 

  11. Cook in the preheated oven for 10 to 12 minutes until lightly golden.

  12. Remove from the oven and leave to cool completely. 

  13. Place a small dollop of the jam onto each biscuit base and spread to within 1/4 inch (1/2 centimeter) of the edge of the biscuit. Make sure the jam creates an even layer on the biscuit. If you put too much, it will spill out, and if you use too little, the biscuits layers will stick together. 

  14. Put the top biscuit layer on top and give it a little tiny twist, this will to help spread out the jam. 

  15. Put the biscuits back on the tray and return to the oven for 5 minutes to cook the jam a little. 

  16. Once more, remove from the oven and let it cool. Sprinkle with icing sugar (powdered or confectioner's sugar) before serving. Eat as soon as possible or store in an airtight tin or plastic container.