I had a vision for a new cookie, peanut butter and jelly. I’m not the first to think of this, but I have yet to find a recipe that matches my vision: a ball of peanut butter cookie dough folded around a glistening globe of jelly and baked to perfection. In my vision, the warm jelly squirts out as you bite into the tender-crisp peanut butter cookie shell, not unlike a jelly doughnut.
Early in the vision, I imagined putting jelly into plastic containers and letting it set in the freezer, then using the small end of a melon-baller to make little jelly dots. I planned to let them set firm and then drop them into little cups formed of cookie dough. I reasoned that the cold jelly would hold up while the cookie baked around it.
I Googled the concept a bit more. I found recipes that spread jelly between two frozen rounds of cookie dough, and recipes the plopped it into thumbprints pushed into peanut butter colored balls. The majority of recipes suggested I simply bake peanut butter cookies and make jelly-filled sandwiches out of them. I haven’t found anything like what I envisioned.
Have I mentioned my fantasy of winning the Pillsbury Bake-Off one day? It’s a bucket list item, really. The biggest challenge to date has been coming up with a completely original recipe – something that has never been baked before. If my cookie idea works, it could be a contender. (This goal drives many of my recipe experiments, and I’ve cooked some doozies.)
Jelly doesn’t freeze, however, which I did not know until today. I had a suspicion yesterday when, after keeping two bowls of jelly (one grape, one strawberry) in the freezer for two hours, I could scoop it with the melon-baller as easily as if I had taken it straight from the newly bought jar. I persevered, scooped little gems of jelly onto a parchment-papered cookie sheet and slid them into the freezer to set firm. This morning, I expected to find hard little marbles of jelly rolling around on the cookie sheet. Instead, I found this:
|After sixteen hours in my freezer, the jelly had merely spread.|
My perfect balls of jelly had actually spread over night. They jiggle just like jelly. They didn’t even get frosty. I am sure there is a perfectly reasonable scientific explanation for this, but it complicates my vision. I’m not giving up, though, because if it works, this might be the one -- the original recipe that wins me the million, and fame, and glory. Submissions for the 2014 Pillsbury Bake-Off “Simple Sweets” category begin April 4, 2014. Today’s baking will determine whether or not I have a thirteenth contest to enter this year. Recipe writing counts, doesn’t it?