Peanut Butter and Raspberry Swirl Coookies


Did you see the latest Google ads with the backdrop of India-Pakistan partition? I just saw them today and was so overwhelmed with emotions. They are so beautiful and this ever so sensitive topic has been brilliantly handled by their team. Though I don't belong to the generation that went through the pain and agony of getting separated with their loved ones, I was very touched with the deep love and affection that these two friends from either side of the border have for each other. Pure love whether it's between friends or shared within any other relationship, knows no boundaries and neither does it care about the religion that you belong to. I wish if we all could share such love with each other, our world would be a much better place for us and our next generations to live in.....

I just don't seem to get enough of Peanut Butter and Jam, especially raspberry jam and since I have cans of home made seedless raspberry jam in my fridge, I keep looking for recipes to use it (that is when I'm not busy licking it off a spoon). These cookies were supposed to be pinwheel cookies actually, but since the jam's shape resembles more of a swirl, I renamed it to swirl cookies :) and anyways any imperfections only prove that they are home made ;)

If I ever were to give an award for The Most Challenging Baking Experience, it would undoubtedly be handling a cookie dough. The weather is hot and humid in my kitchen most of the year and to make matters worse, I have warm hands. So you see, working with a cookie dough, specifically when I've to roll it, like in this case, becomes a nightmare. The only work around that I've with this is to refrigerate the dough at regular intervals, thereby increasing my prep time. But then when you got to do something, you got to do it!

The texture of this cookie on the first day is a little crunchy on the outside and soft as you go towards the middle. However, as it's kept for more and more days, it turns softer and softer. A little cornflour is added to the jam so that it soaks up some moisture and not make the cookie soggy. Though I've used creamy peanut butter for these cookies, you can substitute it with chunky one if you prefer. Just that you would have to be more careful during rolling the dough and cutting the cookie slices off it. Also, feel free to substitute any other jam of your liking.

Recipe Source: The Hummingbird Bakery's Home Sweet Home but made few changes to the recipe.

Makes about 20 cookies.

100 grams / 3.5 ounces Raspberry Jam
1 plus 1/2 teaspoons cornflour
340 grams / 12 ounces plain or all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon soda bi carb
1/4 teaspoon salt
100 grams / 3.5 ounces unsalted butter, softened
100 grams / 3.5 ounces smooth peanut butter
180 grams / 6.5 ounces caster or superfine sugar
1 large egg at room temperature
2 tablespoons whole milk at room temperature

Get ready two pieces of baking parchment, each about 38 x 25 cms (15 x 10 inches).

In a small bowl, combine the raspberry jam and cornflour and mix until the cornflour has dissolved.

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, soda bicarb and salt. Whisk with a hand held whisk or a fork until all the ingredients are thoroughly combined.

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and on medium-high speed, or using an electric hand mixer, cream the butter, peanut butter and sugar until light, pale and fluffy. Add the egg and milk and mix. Keep scraping the sides of the bowl at regular intervals.

Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture. Mix until the mixture forms a dough.

Place the dough on one of the prepared baking parchments. Press the dough slightly with your hands, then top with the other sheet of baking parchment. Gently roll the dough until it reaches the edges of the parchment. Remove the top sheet of the parchment and using a spatula, spread the jam evenly on the dough leaving about 1 cm (1/2 in) around the edge.

Carefully loosen the edge of the dough on the long side of the paper. If the dough is cracking or is too soft to handle, refrigerate it for about 10 to 15 mins.

Using the edge of the paper as a handle, roll the dough up in a Swiss-role style, making sure to seal the seam and keeping it on the underside of the roll. Wrap the roll in cling film and place in the fridge for 4 to 5 hours, or preferably overnight.

Preheat the oven to 170 degrees C / 325 degrees F. Line two to three baking sheets with parchment. Take the dough out of the fridge and slice into 2 cm / 3/4 inch thick slices and place on the baking sheet about 5 cm / 2 inch apart. Bake for about 10 to 12 minutes or until the cookies turn golden brown. Place the baking sheets on cooling rack and after about 5 mins, place the cookies on the cooling rack and cool completely.

Storage Suggestions: These cookies will keep well for about 3 days when stored in airtight container, though they would turn softer. Separate the cookie layers with a baking parchment.

Happy Baking!!!

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