Maritime Jam Jam Cookies

Thursday, 6 January 2022


Maritime Jam Jam Cookies

On Wednesday nights my father usually meets with some lady friends for Fish and Chips at one of the local restaurants.  Occasionally I go to meet him there and have dinner with the ladies and him.

He has been after me to bake him some cookies for a while now so I thought today I would bake him some Jam Jams and bring them with me to the restaurant to give to him.  I thought they would make a nice surprise. 

Maritime Jam Jam Cookies 

My father just loves Jam Jam cookies.  He also loves Molasses cookies. These Jam Jams are the perfect combination of the two and comes from the annals of my Big Blue Binder.

The Big Blue Binder is a  large plastic covered binder which I have been gathering recipes in since I was a young girl. It has been all the way across Canada and back and across the Atlantic ocean and back as well.  It is one of my treasures. 

Maritime Jam Jam Cookies 

It is filled with old family recipes, recipes clipped from magazines over the years, handwritten recipes shared with me by friends, etc.  It is filled with tried and trues. I reckon everyone has something like my Big Blue Binder.

This is a recipe I got from my good friend Leona back in 1981.   Our husbands were both in the Canadian Armed Forces and serving on a base in London, Ontario.  We met at a Bingo at the Junior Ranks mess on a Sunday evening and have been fast friend ever since! 

Maritime Jam Jam Cookies 

Not only did we have a love of Bingo in common, but we both also loved to cook and to bake for our families.  Quite a few of my tried and trues come from Leona.  

I love recipes that come associated with happy memories and beloved friends and family, don't you?  I never bake these cookies without thinking of my dear friend and remember the happy times we spent with each other through the years bingo-ing, laughing and cooking!

Maritime Jam Jam Cookies 

The original recipe (as most older recipes) was not complete with instructions, temperatures, finished amounts, etc.  Those older recipes rely on the cook/baker knowing a bit about what they are doing.

I have worked out the temperatures, etc. for you as well as the amounts of flour needed.  The original recipe only said one word  . . .  flour.  haha 

Maritime Jam Jam Cookies 


Simple ingredients you probably already have in your larder and cupboard.

  • 1 cup (220g) butter (I use salted)
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) mild molasses (In the UK you can use 60ml golden syrup and 60ml dark treacle)
  • 1/2 cup (100g) soft light brown sugar, packed (you could also use muscovado)
  • 1 large free range egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 tsp baking soda, dissolved in 3 TBS hot water
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3 1/2 cups (490g) all purpose plain flour (you may need a bit more, plus you will need more for rolling out the dough)
  • jam for filling (I used seedless raspberry jam, you will need about 3/4 tsp for each cookie pair)

Maritime Jam Jam Cookies 
These are somewhat different than the cookies you will see in the shops here in the Maritime Provinces.  The Jam Jam cookies there are produced by Purity a Newfoundland company and are not molasses cookies per se.

These are molasses cookies, and I like this version better than the Purity one because . . .  one, I love Molasses Cookies, and two, homemade is always infinitely better! 

Maritime Jam Jam Cookies


As I said above the original recipe was basically just a list of ingredients, and some of them were quite vague as to the amounts, and there were no instructions listed at all.  I have endeavored to make these instructions as simple and yet  as exact as I can! 

You need to begin by preheating your oven to 350*F/180*C/ gas mark 4 and lining several large baking sheets with some baking paper.  The recipe makes approximately 26 jam filled double cookies, so you can use one baking sheet twice, or two baking sheets. Its up to you. 

Maritime Jam Jam Cookies  

Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Your butter should be at room temperature. Actually I usually have all of my ingredients at room temperature when I am baking.  It just works better that way.

Beat in the egg, salt, vanilla and soda until well combined.  I am not sure why in the old days they always requested that you mix the soda with hot water. Perhaps it was to make sure the soda dissolves. In any case I do exactly that and then beat it in.  

Maritime Jam Jam Cookies 

The mixture might look a bit curdled at this point, but don't worry you are going to start beating in the flour now and that will sort that out.  I beat it in 2 cups (280g) at first with the electric hand mixer and then I beat in the remainder (about 1 1/2 cups 210g) by hand.

Your dough should  be stiffish but not dry. You want it to be quite malleable about the consistency of play dough. So don't add too much flour.

Maritime Jam Jam Cookies 

Once you have your dough to the right consistency you can start rolling it out on a lightly floured surface using a lightly floured rolling pin.  I usually do this in quarters.  I roll out a quarter, (1/4 inch thick) and cut out my rounds with a 2 1/2 inch cutter, placing them 1 1/2 inches apart on the baking sheet.

Once I have cut all the rounds that I can from that quarter, I gather the scraps and knead them into another quarter measure of the dough. That way you don't end up with really floury dry cookies (if that makes sense).  You can see why you don't want your dough to be really dry and crumbly to begin with. 

Maritime Jam Jam Cookies 

Once the dough has all been rolled out and placed onto the baking sheet(s), it is time to bake them. It takes approximately 12 minutes at 35/*F/180*C.  You will know they are done when they are set on top and golden brown on the bottoms.

Because they are a brownish cookie you won't really be able to tell from looking at the color on the top.

Maritime Jam Jam Cookies 

Scoop them off onto a wire rack to cool completely.  You can then sandwich them together in pairs, using about 3/4 tsp of jam in the middle for each pair.

If you want to make them really stick well together you can return them to the oven briefly (in pairs) and this will heat the jam up a bit and they will stick together better. Or (and this is what I do) I sandwich them together while they are still quite warm. 

Maritime Jam Jam Cookies

I can't wait to see my father's face when I turn up with these tonight!  I think he is going to be really excited to see them.  I am going to be really happy as well because making him happy makes me happy!

My sister stopped by with some mail this afternoon and I was able to give some to her to take home as well.  That also put a smile on my face.

These cookies are really nice served with an ice cold glass of milk. I hope you will enjoy these traditional Maritime favorites as much as we do!

Maritime Jam Jam Cookies

All of the content you see here on this page, both photography and written, are the sole property of The English Kitchen, Marie Rayner. Any reposting or misuse is not permitted. If you are reading this elsewhere, please know that it is stolen content and you may report it to me at mariealicejoan at aol dot com. 


  1. I love a good molasses cookie too but never thought of pairing it with the jam. These look delicious and a wonderful recipe!

    I made your biscuits from a couple days ago last night. Excellent -- loved the small batch!

    1. Oh that makes me happy Jeanie! I am so pleased you enjoyed them. I like the smaller batch recipes as well and am trying to do them as much as I can! I guarantee you will love these cookies if you bake them. You can freeze them as well, without filling them and then just filling them as and when you go to serve! xoxo


Thanks for stopping by. I love to hear from you so do not be shy! Please don't attempt to leave spam or comments with links. They will be deleted immediately. I don't even read them. Your comments will also not be posted if they are nasty either to myself or to other readers. Play nice.