Promises. I only make them a few times a year, but they never last long. I am not talking about promises we keep to people or ourselves, but Promises – the cookie.
You probably haven’t heard of them before, but they are a cookie that is legendary in our family. Baked by my Grandmother in South Africa, they are a very simple cookie, but one that caused many a child to get caught with their ‘hand in the cookie jar’, quite literally. They would never last long once baked and I do remember sneaking into the pantry on several occasions, when we were there to visit, to help myself to one or two more after the tin box. I am sure I wasn’t the only one either.
They are similar to a simple sugar cookie but with way more butter and with a little something extra. A dimple of jam. Just enough to cut the buttery flakiness of the cookie, but not too much that the jam overwhelms.
Not sure where they name comes from, but apparently it was because every time Grandma would make them the kids would say “please promise us you will make us more?!”
This recipe has been doubled, because, well, they won’t last long. But if you really want to you can just make half. This recipe makes approximately 32 cookies.
1 cup of butter
1 cup of sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 cups all purpose flour
apricot jam – you can use other jams if you prefer, however I have found that apricot is really the best for these cookies
Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees.
Beat room temperature butter in mixer until fluffy. Add in sugar and beat until combined. Add eggs one at a time until incorporated.
In a separate bowl, sift flour, baking powder and salt. Gradually add flour mixture into butter mixture, 1/2 cup at a time.
Roll dough into about 1 inch size balls and place on baking sheet. They will double in size so ensure you have left enough room between them.
Using your thumb make an indent into each dough ball. Ensure that there is a bit of thickness to the bottom of the cookie, or else the jam will just leak through the bottom.
Put about 1/2 tsp of apricot jam into each indent. Don’t put too much jam or else it will leak over the sides and will burn on your tray. Although my dad says there can never be too much jam in a Promise.
Bake the cookies at 400 degrees for about 5 minutes, until they have flattened
out a bit, then turn down the oven to 325 degrees and bake for another 20 – 25 min until light golden brown. Watch them, with all that wonderful butter, they can get brown quite quickly.
Put on a baking rack to cool. Even though you may be tempted, do not eat them when they are too hot out of the oven, the jam gets very hot and can burn.
Once cool you can keep in a air tight container. But as I said before, these won’t last long, so that point might be moot.