I love receiving care packages in the mail, which must be pretty obvious considering I take part in the vegan food swap every single month. There’s just something exciting about receiving a package full of mystery goodies, and knowing that someone took the time and effort to pick out items just for you. Back when I first moved away from home, my mom and dad would send me packages filled with some of the things I missed about home. They’d be filled with things like homemade jam, mom’s cookies, a book or trinket, pineapple Crush and always something from Purity.
Purity is a company in Newfoundland that makes a bunch of different goodies. The company has been around since 1924 and their products have become a staple in most Newfoundland homes. Growing up I used to get my fill of their goods, I used to love chugging back their syrups mixed with water, popping peppermint nobs into my mouth and devouring packages of Jam Jams. Jam Jams are hard to come by in the prairies and honestly I have no idea whether they’re vegan or not anyway. At this point you’re probably wondering what the hell these Jam Jam things are I keep talking about, well, they’re basically two soft molasses cookies sandwiched together with raspberry jam and yes, they’re freaking awesome.
When there are no Jam Jams to be found, a girl’s gotta make due, and by making due I mean create my own version! Simple to mix together, the molasses cookies are slightly chewy with just enough spice as to not overpower the other flavors. They’re really good on their own but adding the jam really cranks up the delicious factor. If you eat them right away you might have issues with the jam squirting out everywhere, so to prevent yourself a mess and to make them more like the authentic version, put them in a sealed container overnight and by the next morning the jam will have absorbed slightly into the cookies, making them perfectly soft and chewy.
Homemade Jam Jams
Yields 14 cookies
- 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 1/2 cup canola oil or other light tasting oil
- 1/3 cup fancy molasses
- 2 tablespoons of non-dairy milk
- 2 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup raspberry preserves
In a small bowl, beat together oil, sugar, molasses and milk for 1 to 2 minutes. Mix in vanilla.
In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder and salt. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix until everything is combined. You may need to get your hands in there and lightly kneed the dough to bring it all together. Chill dough for several hours or overnight.
Once chilled, preheat oven to 350 degrees F and prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicon mat.
Roll out the dough on a well floured surface to about a 1/4 inch thickness. Using a 3-inch circle cookie/biscuit cutter, cut out dough and place on prepared baking sheet. Cut a ½ inch circle out of the middle of half of the rolled out cookies.
Bake cookies for about 10-12 minutes. Let cool on pan for a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before sandwiching the cookies.
Once cooled, take one full cookie and place two teaspoons of jam in the center, top with cookie that has circle cut-out. To get the true Purity Jam Jam effect, leave cookies for a day or two so that the jam soaks into the cookies .
Alternatively, you can just roll the dough into 1 inch balls, roll the balls in some sugar, flatten slightly and bake them on a parchment lined sheet for 10 to 12 minutes at 350 degrees F.