Sunday, December 7, 2014

Raspberry Almond Thumbprint Cookies

For my favorite cousin, Cindy!

I don't know about you but I am heavy into holiday baking season.  Yes, it's only the 7th of December but my sheet pans have gotten a serious workout these last few weeks.  I've also started a new extreme sport: baking w/ a toddler.  Apparently, I have serious thrill seeking issues.

Baking w/ an almost three year old (how did that even happen?!) is like baking w/ say, the Tasmanian Devil.  Did anyone else have those really obnoxious t-shirts growing up?

......

Moving along.  These cookies take a bit of preparation and some delayed gratification is involved, which, let's face it - is not necessarily a toddler's strong suit.  Either way, the payoff for these amazing cookies is totally worth it.  Give yourself a few hours (at least) before you need these, they require some time to chill out in the fridge before baking.

We're headed down to Florida in February and I cannot wait to get in the kitchen with these girls and bake some more of these awesome cookies.

No, I don't actually have a picture of the cookies.
That would make entirely too much sense and take entirely too much foresight.

What are you baking for the holidays?

Raspberry Almond Thumbprint Cookies

Adapted from this recipe (I don't think they need the glaze and I like my technique better so you're not killing yourself working w/ hard, cold dough which is more difficult to form)

makes about 30 cookies

1 c. unsalted butter, softened (2 sticks)
1/2 c. granulated sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract (or vanilla bean paste)
1/2 tsp. almond extract
1/2 tsp. salt
2 c. plus 2 tbsp. AP flour (sifted)
1/2 c. raspberry jam

Begin by creaming the butter and sugar until light a fluffy.  Add in extracts and salt, blend until combined.  Add in flour in 1/2 cup additions until combined but be careful not to over-mix or else you end up with tough dough.

Using a 1 oz. cookie scoop (or a rounded tablespoon), scoop out portions of dough and roll in to balls, place on a cookie sheet lined with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.  Press thumb lightly to flatten the balls and create an indentation in the dough for the jam later.  There will be cracking which doesn't bother me but if you'd rather have perfectly uniform cookies, the dough can easily be smoothed back.  I like the wrinkles/cracks - gives them character :) This is the best part about having kids help - it's hilarious and adorable to see little tiny thumb prints (sometimes 2 or 3) in these cookies.

Chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours and up to overnight.

When the dough is completely chilled and you're ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Take the dough out and make sure each cookie has about 2" of clearance from other cookies, either baking in a few batches or on separate baking sheets.  These will spread slightly but less so after chilling.  A silicone mat (as opposed to parchment paper) will also help keep these from spreading too much.

You can spoon 1/2 teaspoonfuls into each imprint.  I like using a piping bag or just a plastic sandwich bag to keep them clean.  Put the jam in the bag, snip a small corner off and pipe the jam into each indentation.  Bake for 12-15 minutes - make sure your oven temperature is right, you don't want these to brown.

Keeps in an airtight container in the fridge for a week but I bet anything they won't last that long.

1 comment:

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