Kelli at The Domestically Impaired Guide to the Retro Kitchen Arts has some great recipes, including two that I recently tried. Her Strawberry, Balsamic Vinegar and Black Pepper Jam has become our favorite and I just made a second batch. The only changes I made to the recipe were to use dark balsamic vinegar and reduce the pepper to 1/2 teaspoon. The balsamic vinegar gives this jam a deep, rich flavor.
Her Watermelon, Mango and Black Pepper Jelly is completely different from anything I’ve tried. This calls for Mango Rum which I had never tasted but was able to find in my local wine shop. Here again, I reduced the pepper to 1/2 teaspoon because I wanted to use it as a spread for toast, biscuits, etc. In each case, I used freshly grated pepper and there is no taste of it at all – it just enhances the natural flavor of the jam and jelly.
I had to sample some of each on a toasted homemade roll for my breakfast this morning.
On Kelli’s blog, note that she has some canning recipe books for sale to use on the Kindle. If you don’t have a Kindle (or have a Nook like I do), the book can be read on your computer.
I’ve been making these cookies for years, adapted from a recipe in an old 1970s Redbook Cookbook. It’s a good way to use up a little bit of jelly, jam or preserves left in the jar.
- 1 cup softened butter or margarine
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 egg
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 2-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 3-4 Tblsp. jam, jelly or preserves
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
Have an ungreased cookie sheet at hand
In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar. Add the salt. Gradually add the flour, mixing well.
Shape a level tablespoon of dough into a ball.
Place balls one inch apart on the ungreased sheet. Press each ball with the index finger, making an indentation. Drop about 1/4 tsp. of jam, jelly or preserves into each indentation.
Bake @ 350 degrees F for 18-20 minutes until cookies are lightly browned.
Remove to a wire rack to cool.
Yield: Approximately 3 dozen cookies
Since my daughter and I like fresh cookies and I don’t want too many around to tempt us, I like to make a dozen cookies and then divide the rest of the dough into two containers to seal and either refrigerate or freeze for another time. I like these Lock ‘n Lock containers, available on QVC. They really do make and keep a tight seal.
In my recipe binder I have a note: “First made on March 18, 1984 – excellent – very short.”