Friday, November 30, 2007

Little Bites

I will admit that I have a sweet tooth. I love all sorts of sweets, especially right after dinner when you just need a little something. I am very good at only having a small amount and savoring every bite. I've been that way since I was a child. A bag of gummy bears or a candy bar can last a few weeks. And a bag of cookies? They usually go stale before I even get finished with it. Speaking of cookies- they have to be one of my favorite after dinner deserts since they are already in "little" amounts for you. I've had a craving for the cookies below for a while. I've actually never baked thumb print cookies, but I love shortbread-like ones with jam filled in the middle. The recipe I found for these cookies were not bad- not great, but not bad. They seemed to fall a bit flat and I'm not sure if it just needs a bit of citrus (lemon zest? Squirt of orange juice?), a pinch of salt, or maybe both. Also, my cookies did not look ANYTHING like the picture in the blog (Really...when does it ever?) and the dough came out really crumbly making it challenging to work with it. However, they soothed the craving and the hazelnuts did add a nice touch.

Thumbprint Cookies
*from Cafe Fernando
Makes 25 cookies

1 cup flour
1/2 cup ground hazelnuts (1 cup as whole)
4 oz butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup raspberry jam or 1/3 cup apricot jam (I actually used cherry and it was WONDERFUL!) (*I would add a pinch of salt and maybe some lemon or orange zest)

Preheat your oven to 350 F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. Cream butter with sugar until light and fluffy (5 minutes). Whisk together flour and ground hazelnuts and add to the creamed butter. Mix until well combined. Refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes (it will be easier to shape). Take a teaspoonful of dough in your hand, form a small ball, press in the center with your finger to make a hole (not all the way) and arrange on baking trays 2 inches apart. (Don’t be tempted to make them bigger than a teaspoonful). Bake for 15 minutes, until the edges are slightly colored. Let the cookies cool and fill the holes with your favorite jams.

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