The Sweetness in the Middle

Hi friends!

Sorry I haven’t been tapping the keys. The holidays are quickly approaching and I find myself unable to sit still for a period and share my heart. But, the snow storm outside gave me the perfect reason to share what I have been up to. I have a hot cup of tea, cozy blanket – that is partially knitted – and silence to write.

This Christmas season I can’t go home. I am stuck in the USA, which means that I will do anything to bring little pieces of home to my new home. As I have mentioned before in other posts, I am settling in. I love Oregon, and I am grateful for the new adventures God has planned for Zach and I. I hope to write another post about my life here and the struggles, joys and new adventures I’ll face as we close off 2016.

I’ve worked hard to make our apartment a home, especially when I have all my “homesick” recipes on hand. One of my favourite recipes that mum would make were Jam Jams. I don’t know if these are traditional Christmas cookies, but I always associated them to this season. So I decided to add Jam Jams to my Christmas baking list. I don’t even know if they are called Jam Jams, but my family loves them, and I hope so do you!

When you make them, be sure to keep some extra on hand. If your friends or family are anything like mine, then these will disappear fast. Just look at them, wouldn’t you want to take a bite out of that sweet sandwich goodness? 😛

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This season, I have made six different treats that Zach and I are handing out to our friends and family. I’ve made over 50 Jam Jams and I wish I horded them all.

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I find that a lot of good cookies have unique ingredients. These in particular have molasses and Crisco – yes, it’s lard. But, they are cookies, they aren’t supposed to be healthy;)

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These are my favourite cookie because, I don’t like chocolate – gasp, I know, I know, what woman doesn’t like chocolate. But I don’t – so when my mum asked about Christmas baking, I suggested these. Jam Jams are my favourite cookie because I love raspberries, and I also love how moist and soft the cookies are from the molasses.

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The molasses gives them a dark drown colour, and a richness to them that balances with the sweet jam inside.

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Since living in a new country, I have had to adjust my brand loyalties. Which I know sounds silly, but there are some ingredients that I really miss here in the USA.  But there is always trial and error. Thankfully this molasses worked and I didn’t need to make more cookies – although I wouldn’t complain about making more Jam Jams.

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Throughout the move here, I didn’t get all of my cooking tools. One of those tools are a circle cookie cutter, which made this recipe a little challenging. However, I got creative. If you find yourself missing cookie cutters, use upside down measuring cups, or jar lids. My measuring cups saved my recipe.

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I’m always reminded of the joy, happiness and warmth of Christmas at home. These cookies have a great way of making me feel like I am home.

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Now this recipe needs raspberry jam. You cannot make Jam Jams without it – there is no substitute. I like Smuckers, but I’m sure there are other great brands of raspberry jam.

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Jam Jams Recipe

  • 3 cups of flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp b.soda (level)
  • 1 tsp b.powder (heaping)
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 1 cup b. sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 5 TBSP boiling water
  • 1 jar of raspberry jam

Mix the first four ingredients together in a bowl. Add in shortening, brown sugar and vanilla. In a separate bowl, mix together molasses and boiling water, then add to the mixture.

If too soft add ½ cup of flour. Roll the dough out, making it very thin.

Cut into circles. Bake at 375*F for 7 minutes.

Let the cookies cool, and arrange in pairs. Once cookies are cooled, spoon raspberry jam (if you’re like me, don’t hesitate to use a lot of jam) onto one, and squish the other cookie to become a sandwich.


I hope that in this season, you are able to gather around those you love and share in the warmth, joy and delight of family. I pray that you are able to not forget the reason for this season and that Christ will bless you.

Zach and I wish you a Merry Christmas and that you can stay warm in this snow.

Much love, the Hoffman’s ❤

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