The traveling little circle

I don't know quite how to introduce you to these jam rolls, except to say that they remind me of Pacman.

Do you remember that game? Pacman—the traveling little circle with a triangular mouth who runs around eating dots? I didn't spend much time in arcades as a kid, but every time we went skiing, there was a Pacman game in the lobby of the fitness center where we went to use the hot tub. From what I remember, the key is for Pacman to avoid the ghosts, because as he's trying to gobble up dots, they in turn are trying to gobble him up.

Sometimes, I still play online. (Did I really just admit that?) But when you have a batch of jam rolls that look like the ones above, you don't even have to resort to that. You can play Pacman right on the kitchen counter with two free hands. Just make sure no one else is home.

In addition to acting as real live Pacmans, these rolls are also very good for eating. They're nothing like their traditional fried counterpart, so you have to set that idea aside before you start tasting. But if you can do that, they're nice and plump and sweet with hints of vanilla and cardamom, sort of like a hot cross bun. And when you bite in, a bit of jam oozes out, which is delightful so long as you are able to locate a napkin nearby.

They are a lot less nice to make, however, particularly when you have none of the proper equipment. I learned quite quickly during the filling process that a plastic bag with a whole cut in the tip may work as a piping kit when you're frosting sugar cookies, but it doesn't do much for squeezing lumpy blueberry jam into fresh rolls. Just look at the carnage it caused!

The original recipe, which was from Cooking Light, recommends using a ketchup bottle or a pastry bag to push the jelly in, which is advice I would definitely stick to the second time around. I also think these rolls are best toasted, with a little bit of butter, and a dusting of confectioners' sugar on top. All in all, they're very nice to have around, particularly on weekday mornings, when you're in a hurry to get out the door with something moderately healthy in hand.

Just try not to get caught playing Pacman at your desk.


adapted from Cooking Light, December 2008

1 and 1/2 teaspoons dry yeast
3/4 cup warm whole milk
6 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon butter, softened
1 teaspoon cardamom
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
3 and 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup blueberry jam
1 tablespoon powdered sugar

In a medium-size bowl, dissolve the yeast in 1/2 cup of the warm milk. Allow it to proof for five minutes or until the yeast starts to bubble. Add the remaining 1/4 cup of milk and the sugar, butter, cardamom, vanilla, salt, and egg. Beat until thoroughly blended. Add about 2 cups of flour, and mix until smooth. Work in the remaining flour with your hands, and turn the dough out onto the counter top. Knead for about ten minutes, or until the dough is smooth and elastic. Put the dough in a large mixing bowl coated with oil or butter, cover with plastic wrap, and leave it to rise for about 2 hours.

When the dough has doubled in size, punch it down and divide it into 16 pieces. Form each piece into a round, smooth ball, and place the balls on a greased or parchment-lined baking sheet. Cover the balls with plastic wrap and let them rise another hour, or until doubled in size.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and uncover the balls. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown. Remove them from the cookie sheet and allow them to cool on a wire rack.

Using the end of a wooden spoon, punch through one side of the rolls (without breaking through a second side) and form a pocket inside. Squeeze about 2 tablespoons of blueberry jam into each roll using a plastic ketchup bottle or a cake piping kit. Sprinkle the rolls with powdered sugar; serve warm with butter.


Anonymous said...

These look pretty tasty! Are they crisp on the outside, so you get kind of a crunch when you bite into them? Or soft, so the dough and the gooey interior meld into one when you take a bite? I just discovered a giant cache of blueberries in the freezer, so I might tackle these! ~A Maine Reader

Elspeth said...

They are not really crisp on the outside...more like rolls, with jam inside...so a bit softer. Definitely worth tackling if you have the blueberries!


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I've tried this recipe a while ago after finding your post. My kids loved it. They're asking me to make more tomorrow.

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I’m literally drooling as I sit here. Love the step-by-step tutorial! Your photos are STUNNING. Good thing blueberries were buy-one-get-one today… I may just have to whip this up!

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That was super yummy. I cant wait to make it for a baby shower I'm hosting soon.

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Luzia Narvz said...

A perfect breakfast! And such a good article too, it isn’t always easy to love what you’re doing and find the passion for it every time. Thanks for sharing.

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Hannah Bailey said...

This recipe is absolutely wonderful! The flavor is delicious and they were way easier than I thought they would be.

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