It was time to clean out the pantry.  In the pile of leftover-baking-ingredients, there were two half-full bags of Jammy Bits.  One bag was raspberry and one was blueberry, both leftover from fruitcakes this past Christmas.  I didn’t want to make fruitcake in July, but I did have this really good peanut butter cookie recipe from the Fluffernutters. 

 

So I made the cookies, again.  I learned, this time, that an 18oz jar of peanut butter was almost exactly the two cups I needed.  I didn’t mention the oatmeal last time, but it adds some structure and texture that most peanut butter cookies lack.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Cookies

And this time, as the very last step, I added in just over a cup of mixed Jammy Bits.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Cookies

I was worried they’d break up in the stand mixer, but they held up fine.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Cookies

In the oven, the jam bits melted into tiny pockets of jelly.  I was worried that it would overwhelm the peanut butter, but they came out nicely balanced. 

Peanut Butter and Jelly Cookies

All in all, one of my more successful pantry-cleaning afternoons!

( see the recipe )

(The 2010 November Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Simona of briciole. She chose to challenge Daring Bakers’ to make pasta frolla for a crostata. She used her own experience as a source, as well as information from Pellegrino Artusi’s Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well.)

I have to admit -I looked at this challenge and was unimpressed.  I make tarts all the time, and I have a really good tart crust recipe that I like.

But it’s the holidays, and who doesn’t need an extra dessert to take somewhere?  I was making a rather adventurous chocolate-cranberry pie for Thanksgiving, and thought a tart would be a good backup if the pie didn’t work out.

So I mixed up the tart dough.  It started with powdered sugar and flour, with an entire stick of butter worked into it until it crumbly.   Then add an egg and a yolk, work it into a dough, then into the fridge for two hours to rest.

I left mine in overnight, and put it on a silpat to roll it out:

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It rolled out far easily then I expected – cold, sticky dough is usually a real pain, but the silpat (and a light dusting of flour) really helped:

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For a filling, I used cherry jam. I’ve been doing a lot of homemade jam, and I had one batch of cherry that hadn’t set up evenly, but I figured a trip through the oven would fix it nicely. The recipe called for 1 3/4 cups, but that wasn’t nearly enough for my tart pan – even a thin coating took about 2.5 cups, but I may have a non-standard pan.

I planned to weave the top, but the dough I reserved had gotten soft while I assembled the jelly, and so I was doing good to get the strips to hold together long enough to lay them lightly on top.

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Then a quick egg wash, and off to the oven for half an hour. It came out looking really good:

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Since my pie looked to have been a success, we just went ahead and tried the tart – and it was really very good.  The sweet dough reminded me of a cookie, and the jam complimented it nicely.  I was so impressed with it that I immediately made a second one to take with me on an after-Thanksgiving trip.  I didn’t get pictures of the second one, but I made sure to keep the dough I’d reserved for the top cold, so I could actually weave the strips into a real lattice. 

I’ll probably make it again for my cookie-swap party, maybe with swirls of cream cheese in with the jam.  Definitely going in the "keep" folder!

( see the recipe )