Monday, April 27, 2009

bake your way through finals

It is reading period, and the tension is killing me. I have to memorize the thousand and one exceptions to the hearsay rule. I have to be able to explain exchange transactions and Roth IRAs for Fed Tax. I need to learn the distinction between the attorney-client privilege and the duty of confidentiality for Professional Responsibility. I have to do too much in too little time.

I'm behind on writing blog posts, no surprise. I don't have the presence of mind to write about lemon curd soufflé or arctic char en papillote, and I can't find the voice I need to tell you about the Mad Italian Chef. Right now, the only corner of the world that is still making sense is the part that contains my kitchen.

Tonight I made jamprint cookies, which are a faster version of jam tarts: rounds of basic butter dough, pressed to make indentations, and filled with dollops of sticky jam.

They're quick and easy, and there's something soothing about shaping and filling them. Once I had the tray in the oven, I wasn't exactly calm, but I did feel better.

I don't know if I'm going to be writing any full blog posts any time soon. My connection to sanity is looking a little tenuous as it is. But I have five pounds of flour and plenty of imagination, and I'll bake my way through finals if I have to.

Jamprint Cookies

(Makes two dozen. Don't eat them all yourself.)

Preheat the oven to 350F. Set out a nonstick or parchment-covered baking tray.

Using a fork, cream one stick of salted butter, a quarter-cup of sugar, and a quarter-teaspoon of salt together until light and fluffy. Add one cup of all-purpose flour little by little, blending with fork until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.

Crack in one egg, and use the fork to stir it in until the mixture forms a ball.

Pinch off teaspoon-sized lumps of dough, roll them into balls, and lay them in rows on the baking tray.

Flatten each ball out into a rough disc, and using your index finger or thumb, make a deep indentation in the middle, big enough for a decent-sized dollop of jam.

Fill the indentations with jam (flavor of your choice; I'm partial to apricot and raspberry), but not too much, or else they'll overflow. Move the tray to the oven. Bake for thirty to thirty-five minutes, or until the cookies are lightly browned at the edges.

Transfer to a cooling rack. Serve with tea or coffee.

17 comments:

Adrienne said...

Hang in there, pal. If cookies are what gets you through, then that's the way it is. You'll make it!

LuckyRaven said...

ooh I love jamprint cookies, I can't wait to try this recipe!

Also to help with those hearsay exceptions:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xi5LESZ7_Kc

adele said...

Adrienne - I was so spacey last night, I actually screwed these up. Shortbread method is flour into butter; I thought, for some reason, that I was making pastry, and added butter into flour. I didn't catch the error until I sat down to write out the recipe. *facepalm*

LuckyRaven - Thanks!

~~louise~~ said...

When life gives you reading make jamprint cookies...I love it!

I can just imagine, read a page pop a cookie, read, pop, read, pop...don't forget to breathe:)

Oh did I tell you, I adore jamprint cookies, thanks for taking the time to share...

I'm having a free cook book give-away at "my place" tomorrow, (4th) try to stop by if you can...

adele said...

Louise - The funny thing is, I don't actually have much interest in eating them. It's really the baking that keeps me sane. :)

Kelly said...

I totally understand the motion of "baking one's way through" something, and especially agree with the decreased desire to actually eat the thing. It's actually nice, though; not only do you have the salve of baking, but you also have the added pleasure of doling them out to drooling, eternally grateful friends. Best of luck!

~~louise~~ said...

Send them on over!!!

Yulinka said...

Good luck, Adele. How many semesters left to go?

Kim said...

Good luck with exams, and nothing like a good jamprint cookie to ease the stress! Another year of law school down!

adele said...

Kelly - I am sad to say that I might be providing a major source of sustenance for some of them. I swear there are law students who subsist on nothing but Diet Coke and Cheetos during finals. :(

Louise - I haven't figured out how to send cookies via e-mail yet. :)

Yulinka - Two more.

Kim - Indeed. It'll all be over this Friday...

Katy said...

They look great. I hear you on needing some comfort for finals I cant WAIT for this year to be OVER!

adele said...

Katy - I am counting the hours until I'm done.

Susan said...

Simple & sweet jam cookies are the way to go when you're stressed. Hope you are/have been surviving your finals. You'll need to cook a celebratory feast when you are done. : }

adele said...

Susan - Almost there. One more to go. I might sleep for a week when they're over, but once I wake up, I expect that there will be some sort of feast. :)

~~louise~~ said...

Been thinking about you baking through finals. You deserve breakfast in bed for week. Keep it up Adele, it's almost over:)

adele said...

Louise - Aww, thank you! I was never really one for breakfast in bed (crumbs, and the risk of upsetting my tea), but I might eat ice-cream for dinner. ;)

~~louise~~ said...

That's hysterical. I had Ice Cream for dinner. Hard to resist the Penn State Creamery on such a beauty of an evening!!