Saturday, December 27, 2008

Holiday Thumbprint Cookies

Its been only a recent curiosity. Baking. Especially cookies. Christmas was approaching soon, and I had no idea what my contribution to this years feast was going to be. I started my web search. something easy, something fun. something useful for years to come.....then I saw it on! the rave reviews tempted me to try it and it seemed ridiculously easy. My guests loved these cookies and it turned out to be a great choice. I had decided to make some basic butter cookies with thumbprint filling. They were warm, soft and filled with total yumminess. The fillings inside the thumbprint can be anything you wish. I first started it off with Apricot Preserves & Raspberry Jam. Later, I melted 1/4th cup semi-chocolate with 1 tablespoon vegetable shortening and used the sauce as a chocolate filling. Results? each time they were gobbled up! I made 48 cookies in the last two days. Try it, you will find yourself wanting more. Maybe the next time I make this, I will put some exotic honey in the center...*drool*

Holiday Thumbprint Cookies

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 sticks (1/2 pound) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
About 2 table spoons of anything you wish. Jam-Chocolate Sauce-Honey

* Equipment: a 1/2-inch-thick wooden spoon handle or dowel

Make dough:
Whisk together flour and salt. Beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer until very pale and fluffy, about 4 minutes, then beat in egg and vanilla. At low speed, mix in flour mixture in 3 batches just until a dough forms. Divide dough in half and form each piece into a 6-inch disk, then chill, wrapped in plastic wrap, until firm, about 1 hour.

Assemble and bake cookies:
Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.

Roll a level teaspoons of dough each into a ball, then flatten the ball slightly (to 1 inch wide and less than 1/2 inch thick). Make a deep indentation in center of each round with wooden spoon handle. Make more cookies, arranging them 1 inch apart on baking sheets.

Fill indentations in each cookie with jam
Bake until cookies are baked through and golden-brown on edges, 15 to 20 minutes. Cool on baking sheets 5 minutes, then transfer to racks to cool completely.

Bake more batches on cooled baking sheets lined with fresh parchment.
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