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cookies

In A Jam

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Sometimes despite your best intentions to eat  or gift your way through all the jams, jellies, marmalades, fruit butters, preserves, and curds you’ve made in the past year, you still end up with a few remaining jars on hand come December. This is great news, if you plan to give some away as gifts, but a bit more challenging when you’ve given everyone on your list, and then some, a 1/2-pint of strawberry preserves or blackberry jam.

Enter the thumbprint cookie. These vessels will gladly take your extra preserves. For a modest effort of effort, you get a delicious means of using your goods up while your friends and family get a delectable treat. Everyone wins. Of course, there’s no mandate to have to give them away at all. In the business of the holiday rush, it’s important to stop and smell the cookies (and jam) oneself.

Oh, and that lovely little cookie tin up there? Glenn picked it up from a thrift store, and then decoupaged the lid with scrapbooking papers. Great way to create artistic, attractive cookie tins without spending a mint!

 

Lemon & Almond Thumbprint Cookies 
(loosely adapted from both Martha Stewart and The Cookiepedia)
Yield: Approximately 2 1/2-dozen cookies.

The Goods:
-1 cup (2 sticks) butter, room temperature
-2/3 cup sugar
-2 egg yolks, plus one lightly beaten egg white
-Zest of 1 lemon
-2 cups all-purpose flour
-3/4 teaspoon salt
-1 cup toasted almonds, finely ground*
-1/4-1/2 cup fruit jam (I used Blackberry Sage Jam that I made this past summer using the recipe from Food In Jars)
*To toast the almonds, bake in a 225ºF oven for 7-8 minutes, until fragrant. Allow to cool fully and then grind in a food processor until finely ground. 

The Deal:
1) Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line two cookie sheets with parchment or wax paper. Set aside.
2) Cream the butter and sugar together in an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
3) Beat in the two egg yolks, one at a time, scraping down the mixing bowl with a spatula between additions.
4) Beat in the lemon zest.
5) In a separate mixing bowl, whisk the flour and salt together. Gradually add to the wet ingredients, beating until the dough is smooth.
6) Place the beaten egg white in a small mixing bowl. Divide the ground almonds evenly between two small mixing bowls.
7) Pinch off chunks of dough, and roll them into 1-inch balls.
8) Dip the balls into the beaten egg white and them in one of the small bowls of ground almonds. Continue until all of the dough has been shaped. Begin using the second bowl of ground almonds for rolling once the first one gets all gummy and globby.
9) Make an indentation in the center of each round, using either your thumbprint or the back of a spoon, creating shallow wells.
10) Fill each well with about 1/2-3/4 teaspoons of fruit jam (I use a small, serrated edge grapefruit spoon for this step; works like a dream).
11) Bake for 15-18 minutes until the cookie dough has fully cooked and the bottoms are lightly brown, rotating the position of the cookie sheets mid-way.
12) Cool completely before storing. Store in an airtight container and consume within 3-4 days.