Are you familiar with the Bakewell, you beautiful genius? It’s a tart. A British tart, to be precise. And it’s hell-delicious. Think crumbly shortcrust pastry, a layer of jammy-fruit, and then a thick, almond-y, cake-y filling. A dollop of clotted cream on top? Perfection.
This is my homage to the Bakewell in portable, easy to bake, no tart-tin required but just as delicious, cookie format.
I THINK, though I could very easily be wrong, that the traditional filling for a bakewell tart is raspberry jam. Which is completely delicious. But, inspired by the utterly ravishing Cherry Bakewell Cupcake on the front of this book (which I heartily recommend, because Jemma Wilson is awesome, and David Loftus is my favourite photographer) I had to go with cherry.
It was a good choice; cherry and almond are so in love with each other.
The flavours of these cookies are very true to the original tart. The cookie itself is a VERY buttery shortbread, made with a mixture of half almond meal, half plain flour. As a result the cookies are beautifully short and crumbly, with plenty of buttery, almondy flavour.
The cherry jam is a beautiful compliment, nicely tart and rounded, but get a jam that’s good to start off with, because you’ll taste the quality. I can never go past Bonne Maman.
There is something so British about these cookies, and I love the Brits. It is the Aussie Motherland, after all. These cookies make me want to find a very comfy old leather armchair, and make a pot of tea…and then read the most British books I know; Harry Potter. Whilst scoffing the entire tray of cookies, of course.
Yes I am nine years old. You didn’t know that?
- 1 stick (110g) butter, softened
- ⅓ cup (75g) (caster sugar (superfine sugar)
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 egg
- ¾ cup (185g) plain flour
- ¾ cup (85g) almond meal
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 4oz (150g) flaked almonds
- cherry jam, to fill
- Preheat the oven to 375F/180C and line two baking trays with baking paper.
- In a large bowl, beat together the butter, sugar and vanilla until the mixture is very light, and slightly paler in colour.
- Add the egg, and continue beating until the egg is well incorporated. Add the flour, almond meal and baking powder, and mix just until everything is incorporated in a soft dough.
- If the mixture is very sticky, you can refrigerate it, otherwise, place the flaked almonds out onto a shallow bowl or plate, and gently crush them with your hands, just to break them into slightly smaller pieces.
- Take heaped teaspoons (about 2 teaspoonfuls, really) and toss them into the almonds. Roll them around to coat, and then place them onto the trays, with at least an inch (2.5cm) between.
- Press down with your thumb to make an indentation in the centre of each cookie, and then place them in the oven for ten minutes.
- After ten minutes, remove the cookies, and place a scant teaspoon of jam into the indentation in each cookie. Place them back in the oven, and bake for another 6-8 minutes, or until lightly golden at the edges.
- Leave to cool on the trays, and then eat them, ideally with a cup of tea and a really trashy book.