Tag Archives: jam

Mixed Berries Jam

I used to shy away from even attempting to make homemade jams because I thought you needed to buy special ingredients, such as pectin, to make them at home. I also thought you had to go through the whole canning process which uses special containers (which, are kind of expensive).

I gave them a try after reading David Lebovitz’s blog and realizing that not only does he not use commercial pectin, but there is no need to go through the canning process. I buy regular glass containers, with regular twist on/off caps and wash them with hot soapy water before using them. That’s it. Jams will keep for months in the refrigerator without problem.

I have already made a few different types of jam, but hadn’t tried a classic mixed berry jam, and this one would go great with cream cheese and scones.  Check out our two recipes for scones, while you’re here!


Mixed Berries Jam

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It’s Mango Season!

It’s mango season, at least in Guatemala. Even though this fruit is delicious on its own, we always like to venture with seasonal produce and fruits and try them in different recipes. To help you figure out what to do with all those mangoes you’ll find around the grocery store, we gathered our mango recipe collection so you can try one, or all of them!

Kitty & Helga

Foodies Freebie: March 2013 iPad Wallpaper

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Vampire Cookies

No sugar cookies this year.  I’ve made these and these for Halloween before, and next thing you know Christmas comes along… with more sugar cookies.  I wanted to try something different and I came across this recipe for Vampire Cookies from Baking Bites which seemed like the perfect recipe to try something new.  It’s basically a butter cookie dough, filled with raspberry jam.  You can use strawberry, cherry or raspberry. Just make sure the jam doesn’t have large chunks of fruit.

I was a little worried that because you’re sandwiching the jam between two pieces of dough, the jam would spill from the sides as it baked.  To avoid this, I made sure I pinched both sides together leaving no space for any of it to spill.  As long as you do this, and you don’t put in more than 1 teaspoon of jam, you should be fine.  All my cookies were neatly baked.

Flavor wise, these are amazing.  They are not too sweet, the cookie dough has a buttery-vanilla flavor which combines perfectly with the fruity filling.  For the “blood” effect, you do have to use a toothpick dipped in jam after the cookies are baked.  Mine came out of the oven with just two little hole indentations.

So, start going on your Halloween goodies, and give these cookies a try!


Vampire Cookies

 Vampire Cookies

Yields: 12-16 cookies
Recipe from Baking Bites

3/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp almond extract
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
approx 1/2 cup red jam (raspberry/strawberry)


  1. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light. Beat in egg and extracts.
  2. Add flour and salt to the bowl and mix them into the butter-sugar mixture at low speed until dough is just combined. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  3. Preheat oven to 325F.
  4. Divide dough in half and keep the portion you are not using in the refrigerator.
  5. Roll dough out on a lightly floured surface until it is about 1/8-inch thick. Use a cookie cutter to cut out 2-inch rounds.
  6. Place rounds on a baking sheet, put a teaspoon of jam on each of them and cover with another round of dough. Press edges down lightly, pinching the edges onto the cookie sheet. Use a toothpick and poke two small holes (like a vampire bite) in the top of each cookie.
  7. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until cookies are set.
  8. Cool for about 5 minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  9. Dip a toothpick in some extra red jam and re-insert in the “bite” holes you made before baking to emphasize them, if not already red. Draw a blood trick down from one of the bites with the jam, if desired.

Note: Cookies are best the day they are made.

Makes 2 dozen.

Vampire Cookies

Vampire Cookies

Vampire Cookies

Vampire Cookies

Vampire Cookies

Vampire Cookies

Vampire Cookies

Vampire Cookies

Balsamic Strawberry-Mango Jam

I found another recipe to add to my jam repertoire, and I’m happy to share it with you. You’ll love this one.  You’ve probably already noticed that I really like making this stuff, especially with ingredients to create a jam flavor that you won’t find at the store, like this Balsamic Strawberry-Mango Jam.   I have posted the recipe a little too late, mango season is almost (if not already) over, at least in Guatemala.  You can certainly make this without the mango, or add another type of berry of your choosing. I would try raspberry.

I do insist you try to get vanilla beans to make this recipe. Of course, you can use vanilla extract but it will not be the same, the flavor you get from natural vanilla is incomparable. I also encourage you to add the balsamic vinegar, don’t be afraid!  I confess, I was a little skeptical about adding the entire amount of balsamic vinegar stated on the recipe to my batch of jam.  You add it at the very end, and I was afraid I would ruin a perfectly good batch, but I was so wrong!  Next time, I will add the entire amount.  It gives the jam its rich burgundy color and it intensifies its strawberry flavor. I should’ve known better, I had already used balsamic vinegar to make a strawberry buttercream.

Here’s a list of the jams and marmalades we have already published, in case you want to give one a try:

Rhubarb & Strawberry Jam

Tomato Jam

Tangerine Marmalade

Peach, Mango & Vanilla Jam

I’m always saying I will try a berry blend next, but I always find something that seems more appealing to me… who knows what I’ll try next.  I recently found a strawberry chipotle jam recipe that I am dying to try.



Balsamic Strawberry-Mango Jam

Recipe Adapted from Love and Olive Oil
Yields: A lot!  Approx. 5 jars


4 cups strawberries
4 cups chopped mango (Tommy variety)
1/4 cup water
2 cups granulated sugar, divided
2 vanilla beans, split and scraped
1 lemon, juiced

4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar


  1. Wash, hull, and roughly chop berries. Toss with the chopped mango, water,1 cup sugar and vanilla you scraped from the 2 beans.
  2. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, lower the temperature, cover and simmer for about 20 minutes.  Add the remaining cup of sugar.
  3. Continue cooking until jam reaches 220 degrees F. (About 1 hour)
  4. Meanwhile, let the balsamic vinegar reduce in a small pot for a few minutes. It will reach a syrup-like consistency. Keep an eye on it, such a small amount will reduce quickly.
  5. Add lemon juice and balsamic vinegar reduction to your jam in the final 5 minutes of cooking. Mix well to combine.
  6. Transfer jam to your sterilized jars, let cool to room temperature and refrigerate. ( I use a small ladle to transfer the jam)