Jam drops can be divisive. There's the "Oh my Nan made these, I love them" camp and the "Jam drops? Meh." brigade.
If you fall into the latter, can we suggest you've been deprived. That you'd been served a sub-standard jam drop; a biscuit not worthy of a proud international tradition. A good jam drop - a REAL jam drop - is not dry. It does not skimp on the jam. It is buttery and just a little crumbly and golden and topped with a generous dollop of really good fruity jam. But those are the only rules.
On River Cottage Australia this week (Thursday 29 December on SBS, or watch it later on SBS On Demand) Paul west is whipping up "my grandmother's favourite complement to a cup of tea - crumbly, delicious jam drops" for some very important guests. But he's lifting his biscuit game with a special ingredient:
The final touch to Paul's recipe - 125g of unsalted butter beaten with a cup of white sugar, then an egg, and then 1¼ cups of sifted SR flour (the sifting is important for the final fine, slightly crumbly texture, Paul says) - is ⅔ of a cup of dessicated coconut. But equally important is the jam - as Paul says, don't skimp! It's better to have too much than too little.
If you lean more to a shortbready biscuit, we've got another suggestion that we reckon will win you over: these Puerto Rican biscuits use a buttery shortbread dough and a tropical pineapple jam.
These Linzer torte cookies made with buttery hazelnut shortbread biscuits sandwiched with raspberry jam are like the jam drop's posh cousin.
And while these are more like jam "folds" than jam drops, we'd be remiss if we didn't include another easy jam-meets-biscuit offering - these Czech kolaci.
Of course, one of the best things about a classic jam drop is that since they only take 15 minutes or so to bake, you can have them on the table in time to serve them with a cuppa when unexpected guests "drop" in.
Kiflice are filled pastries that look like mini croissants but have a more strudel-scone-like texture. Whilst the dough itself isn't sweet, the jam filling and the icing sugar topping gives this pastry a sweet hit.
Delicious melting biscuits from the queen of sweets, Mira Valcich. Make sure you find provdl for this recipe, which is favoured for baking as it tends to keep its shape rather than spreading while cooking – it comes in jars and is found in European delis and some supermarkets.