Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Thumbprint cookies

The previous post was a skinny brownie and this one is a nice buttery cookie. It is nice to indulge in both - the trick is moderation as I say to my family.

These thumbprint cookies are decadent, crumbly, and buttery with a faint hint of lemon and a sweet gooey center. The lemon zest in the dough gives the cookie the freshness despite it being decadent. The center can be filled with any jam or preserve of your choice. My favorite fillings are strawberry spread and dark cherry spread made by St. Dalfours.  I like their spreads since they have no added sugar and use grape juice concentrate instead to sweeten. Marmalade with its hint of bitterness makes a nice grown up thumbprint cookie. You could also use chocolate, but in that case skip the lemon juice and the lemon zest.

Thumbprint cookies with Jam
1/4 cup strawberry jam
1/4 cup dark cherry jam
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 sticks (1 cup) butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
2 large egg yolks
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Fig - 1
Fig - 2

    Fig - 3

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 3 large baking sheets with Silpat or parchment paper. 
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt and whisk to blend.
  3. In a large bowl using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and creamy. Beat in the egg yolks, lemon zest, lemon juice and vanilla. Add the flour mixture in 2 additions and beat just until moist clumps form. Gather the dough together into a ball. 
  4. Pinch off the dough to form 1-inch balls as per the Fig - 1. Place on the prepared baking sheets, spacing 1 1/2 inch apart. Use the 1/2 teaspoon measuring spoon or a melon baller to create depressions in the center of each ball as per Fig - 2. Fill each indentation with nearly 1/2 teaspoon jam. Bake until golden brown, about 16 minutes.Transfer the cookies to wire racks to cool completely.
  5. Store in an airtight container between layers of butter paper for a week.
Makes 46 cookies

The number of cookies will depend on the temperature of the butter. If the butter is not soft, then the dough will be slightly stiff resulting in fewer cookies.
It is very important to leave enough space between the cookies, since they will spread while baking.
It is critical that the cookies are not overfilled with jam, since the jam will melt while baking and overflow.

Note: This recipe is adapted from Emeril Lagasse's Raspberry Lemon thumbprint cookies

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