Jam Dot Cookies
by Sara Elbert
Maddy Ezanno has been working on the same cookie recipe for over a decade. The Jam Dot cookie recipe was born in 2003 when Maddy, a private chef trained in vegetarian fare, found herself in the kitchen of a client with Lyme disease and mercury poisoning. Maddy went to her arsenal of recipes to create a treat that not only met the dietary restrictions, but surpassed prevalent gluten-free, low glycemic dessert options in both taste and texture. The raw food chef, who tends to shy away from baking, which she deems “too scientific, with too many rules,” pulled out a recipe from her recent schooling at the Natural Gourmet Institute.
“I chose to play around with the Jam Dots. The original version from school had whole wheat flour, and I wanted them to be gluten-free. I’d say they have been through five, six, maybe seven different versions.”
Maddy’s Jam Dot is a coarse, rustic dome that is as crumbly as it is moist, holding just a thimble full of sweet fruit up top. It nods at the Swedish cookie hallongrotta, or “raspberry cave,” and the subsequent American thumbprint rendition. So unique is this version, however, that the classic shortbread variety, laden with wheat flour, eggs and butter, seems but a distant Nordic relative.
Organic, unadulterated ingredients blend together well, yet maintain their unique tart taste. The raw, crushed almonds have a ripe cherry fragrance and combine nicely with the taste of pecans and summer honeycomb. The olive oil adds a freshly mowed grass aromatic, and the maple syrup is a nod to the naturally delicious.
The recipe lends itself to multiple incarnations. Rolled out flat, the nutty mixture can be baked, broken up, and eaten like granola. The cookies can also be enjoyed raw, having only been shaped and left to set in the refrigerator. Although Maddy has coined them a “seasonless dessert,” autumn, with its cool air and colorful night sky, woodburning fires and woolen knits, has a way of coaxing out the baker in all of us.
“I don’t think about baking anything in the summer,” Maddy said. “The Jam Dot is a hearty, fall cookie to me.”
Now that the recipe has been perfected by Maddy, all that is left to do is mix, bake and repeat. The Jam Dots have become such a phenomenon, that when Maddy makes a batch at her own house, she makes sure to strategically hide them around the kitchen, ensuring that the person they were created for gets at least one.