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Friday, December 23, 2011

Jam thumbprint cookies

Today I made jam thumbprint cookies.  I don't know why, but I think they're festive.  Maybe it's the shiny jewel colored centers?  But anyway, these were the finishing touches for my box of cookies for my doormen.  I have to say, in all honesty, that I had wanted to make a whole bunch of other treats to put in this box (peppermint truffle cups, cappuccino brownies, regular chocolate chip cookies, candied walnuts), I simply ran out of time.  I'm hoping I have a little free time in the morning to cut the fruit jellies, toss them in the sugar, and sneak them into the box before I deliver it on my way to work.

But first, the jam thumbprint cookies.  This recipe is from Epicurious.  Their idea and presentation is, I think, super cute, but I think it's a bit time intensive.  So, I skip the whole "Trios" part - they have you making 3 small thumbprint cookies, each with a different flavor of jam (strawberry, raspberry, apricot) and intentionally doing what every baker hates - placing the cookies close enough so that when then spread during baking, they attach themselves to each other!  Instead, I just make individual, slightly larger, jam thumbprint cookies.  The raspberry and apricot are my favorites, so that is what I stuck with today, but i've made them with tons of different flavors in the past - peach, apricot, cherry, raspberry, strawberry...the list can go on and on!

Jam Thumbprint Cookies (my adaptation of Trios)

2.5 cups flour
1 tsp salt
2 sticks (1/2 pound) butter, softened
1 egg
1 cup sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla

jam or preserves of your choice

Whisk together flour and salt, set aside.
Beat butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy.  Add egg and vanilla. 
Then, mix in flour mixture in 3 batches, until a dough forms.
Divide into two pieces.  Wrap each in plastic wrap.  Chill in fridge until firm, about 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 350F.  Line 2 baking trays with parchment paper.

Take out dough and roll into balls, spacing them about 2 inches apart.  Once all of the dough balls are on the baking tray, take the end of a wooden spoon and press it into the center of the cookie, making a cavity.  Place a small amount of jam/preserves in the center (don't overfill them).  Bake until cooked through and edges are golden brown (the original recipe says 15-20 minutes, mine were done in about 8-10).  Cool for about 5 minutes on baking tray then move to a cooling rack.

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