Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Jam Thumbprint cookies

Shortbread cookie with toasted coconut and a strawberry jam center.

These cookies are probably my favorite ones to make because I've been making them for so long. It was one of the first cookie recipes I tried, and did well, enough so that it sparked my interest into expanding into other genres of baked goods (aside from cake and pie, I mean). I also liked to make them around the holidays to give out as gifts, so they have a holiday connotation in my mind, too.

This is a shortbread cookie. Which means. Yes. Butter.

If you do the math, each cookie only has like a 1/2 tablespoon of butter, though.

I like to make this dough in a large Tupperware container, because it needs to be chilled for 30 minutes before making the cookies. So pop on the lid, and you are good to go.

(FYI - I don't think the chilling is super necessary. I've done it both ways, and the cookies are no different. Also, it might even be better to not chill because the dough is crumbly and it's actually easier to handle when it's warmer and the butter is softer.)

The fun part! The cookie-making. For efficiency's sake, I like to do all the cookies at once, rather than rolling, smashing, and jamming each cookie one by one.

Take a golf-ball sized chunk of dough, and dip about half of it in egg wash. Then press that half into some sweetened coconut.

I do this for all the cookies first, and line them up on a baking sheet.

Huh, in that form, they look like a different dessert, don't they? (Bonus points if you guess which.) Next is pushing your thumb in. It doesn't matter if you use your thumb or not -- keep in mind the dough is pretty crumbly so you want to make sure the edges don't split too much when you do this.

Then spoon in the jam. Back in the day, when I had the money to do this, I'd do blackberry, strawberry, and apricot -- and there'd be a whole spectrum of different cookies to choose from. Today, it's just strawberry.

Out of the oven.

Mmmm. Like little circles of happiness.

Jam Thumbprint Cookies

Recipe adapted from Ina Garten

3 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash
7 ounces sweetened flaked coconut
fruit jam

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Cream together the butter and sugar until they are just combined and then add the vanilla. Separately, sift together the flour and salt. Add the flour mixture to the creamed butter and sugar. Mix until the dough starts to come together.

Dump on a floured board and roll together into a flat disk. Wrap in plastic and chill for 30 minutes.

Roll the dough into 1 1/4-inch balls. (If you have a scale they should each weigh 1 ounce.) Dip each ball into the egg wash and then roll it in coconut. Place the balls on an ungreased cookie sheet and press a light indentation into the top of each with your finger. Drop 1/4 teaspoon of jam into each indentation.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the coconut is a golden brown. Cool and serve.

Yield: about 30 cookies
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20-25 minutes
Difficulty: Medium


scmom (Barbara) said...

Form them when the dough is soft and then chill them on the pan. They bake better when the dough is chilled -- they spread a lot otherwise. I never tried coconut -- a new version!

ijoemonkey said...

these were yummy! thanks again!