Some SponCon Is Awesome: PBJ Jammy Dodgers

Lyle's Golden Syrup is something I keep on hand at all times, or at least I try to. I noticed over the spring and summer that it mysteriously disappeared from shelves in grocery stores, except for one local grocery that still sold golden syrup in tins. I know beggars shouldn't be choosers, but I really hate the metal syrup tin. I literally need a screwdriver to pry off the lid every time, it's impossible to pour out the syrup without having it drip back onto the tin, and the lid ends up getting bent out of shape.  I was hoarding my last plastic squeeze bottle of Lyle's until I managed to bring a few back from California in October, after I found them at Bristol Farms while I was visiting my parents. Thankfully, the golden syrup shortage now appears to be over -- in the last few weeks the plastic bottles have reappeared on shelves and I now have an excessive number of them stashed in my cupboard. 

I was flush with syrup and it was perfect timing when I saw a sponsored recipe from Lyle's Golden Syrup pop up in my Facebook timeline: Peanut Butter and Jelly Jammy Dodgers. Normally I wouldn't get that excited about a sponsored recipe, but I clicked through and realized that the recipe was developed by Edd Kimber (and the recipe is also on Edd's website). I trust Edd a lot more than I would trust some nameless recipe developer in the Tate & Lyle test kitchen (or maybe the American Sugar Refining test kitchen, as ASR -- the same company that owns Domino and C&H -- now owns Tate & Lyle).

Jammy dodgers are shortbread sandwich cookies filled with fruit jam. This PB&J version has peanut cookies (made with ground nuts) sandwiched around a peanut butter filling, raspberry jam, and chopped peanuts. You make the cookie dough in a food processor by pulsing salted peanuts with a little flour until finely ground; adding more flour, sugar, and salt (note that there is a typo in the recipe on both the Lyle's website and Edd's website -- neither one tells you when to add the sugar); pulsing in cold cubed butter; and adding a mixture of egg, egg yolk, and golden syrup. You wrap the resulting dough in plastic and chill it before rolling it out. 
I rolled the dough to a thickness of an eighth of an inch and used a 2.75-inch round cutter to cut out the cookies, removing a circle of dough from the center of half of the cookies. The dough was sticky and uncooperative. Whenever possible, I avoid using any flour at all when I roll out cookie dough. Usually rolling the dough between two pieces of parchment paper is sufficient to keep it from sticking, but this dough was so sticky that I had to repeatedly flour the dough and the parchment I was rolling it on. Fortunately I didn't have any problem gathering up and re-rolling all of the scraps multiple times, so there was no wasted dough. I ended up with 64 cookies, enough to make 32 sandwiches. I did not bother chilling my cut cookies before baking.

The peanut butter filling is a mixture of softened butter, smooth peanut butter, powdered sugar, golden syrup, and salt. I put the filling into a pastry bag with a large plain tip and piped a fat ring of filling on the underside of each of the cooled solid cookies. Then I filled the center of the ring with raspberry jam, tossed on a few chopped salted peanuts, and added a cookie lid that had been sprinkled with powdered sugar.

I was so pleased with the way these cookies came out. The dough held its shape very well during baking. The cookies were elegantly thin and delicate looking, and uniform in size and shape, without an air bubble to be seen anywhere (I was worried about air bubbles because they can form when you re-roll dough scraps, especially scraps that have been coated in flour). Most of all, they were freakin' delicious. The cookies were firm, crisp, and didn't get soggy; I stored the cookies in the fridge and they tasted great cold. The peanut butter filling was rich and smooth and delivered the clear flavor of peanut butter without the heaviness or stickiness. The PB&J aspect of the cookie came through bright and clear, and the sharpness of the raspberry jam was just lovely with the filling and peanut cookie. The bits of chopped nuts in the middle were a nice textural bonus.

I've got nothing negative to say about this cookie and I wouldn't change a thing. I'm still generally quite skeptical about sponsored content (I mean, I am an advertising attorney, after all!), but this little bit of sponcon Edd Kimber turned out for Lyle's is pretty awesome.

Recipe: "PBJ Jammy Dodgers" by Edd Kimber.