Now that my rising stardom has plummeted violently back to earth, I'll be better able to concentrate on doing what I do best: boring you with family recipes. So, here’s another picture of my great aunt Dava [Barbaresi] Catone on the far right with her husband Joe. My grandmother and grandfather, Dora [Barbaresi] and Albert Donroe, are third and fourth from the left. This picture was taken at some point, someplace, with some other people. How’s that for documenting history?
Bambury tarts are another cookie from Dava’s famous cookie trays, and one that presents particularly well for the holidays. I believe these are a riff on Banbury tarts, the English tea pastry filled with lemony mincemeat, but for which other fillings have evolved over the years and oceans. Here, it’s raspberry jam nestled in a nest of shredded coconut. Bambury may, in fact, be a misspelling, but I’m keeping it because American recipes often reflect an evolution of ingredients, techniques, and interpretations. In this game of Telephone we call life, it’s only fun when the end result is different than what you initially started with.
It was funny to watch the Toddler try to suck the jelly out of the middle of these, until he realized that the cookie part isn’t half bad, either.
1 cup margarine (or butter)
½ cup sugar
2 eggs, separated
2 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour
1 cup shredded coconut, packed
¼ cup red raspberry jam
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease cookie sheets or line with parchment paper.
Cream margarine and sugar. Add egg yolks and vanilla, and blend well. Mix in flour until just combined. Form into small balls. Dip in slightly beaten egg whites, and roll in coconut. Bake 5 minutes and remove from oven. With a knuckle, nudge a small dent into the center of each cookie (yes, it’s hot; don’t be a wuss). Spoon a dollop of jam into each well and bake another 15 minutes. Cool.
Makes about 3 dozen.
Dava [Barbaresi] Catone
New Haven, Connecticut - Hamden, Connecticut
1921 - 1998
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