Sunday, July 26, 2009

Orange Blossom Jam Thumbprints - Cookie Variation

I wasn't sure if we needed another refrigerator cookie recipe posted, since mom posted her Jam Thumbprints recently. But, as you can see, the cookies look quite different and the recipes also differ substantially. I got mine from The Joy of Cooking. Since it's a refrigerator dough, chilling it for several hours is key, so plan ahead. My variation on it was using Orange Blossom Water instead of vanilla, which mingled nicely with the black raspberry jam (you could also use rose water). The basic dough can be used for all kinds of different cookies.

1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 tsp. orange blossom water
1/4 tsp. (seriously, just a tiny drop) vanilla
2 eggs
2 1/2 c. sifted AP flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
~1/4 c. jam
powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 375.

Cream together the butter and sugar. Beat in the orange blossom water, vanilla, and eggs. Sift the dry ingredients together and mix in thoroughly. The dough should be stiff and only slightly sticky. Roll it into a 2 1/2" wide log and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 3-4 hours. If you like, you can freeze half of it for later use.

Dust the counter with powdered sugar to keep the dough from sticking. Cut the log lengthwise into quarters. Cut the quarters cross-wise at 1" intervals. Roll each piece into a ball and place onto a greased cookie sheet. These cookies don't spread out too much, so they only need ~1" between them.

Place the jam into a plastic baggie and squeeze the jam into one corner. Snip a tiny (<1/4") piece off of the corner to make a hole for piping.

Bake the cookies for 5 minutes and remove from the oven. Using your finger, protected by a thimble if you prefer, gently poke a deep well into each of the cookies. Squeeze a small amount of jam into each well from the corner of the plastic bag. Fill the holes, but don't over-fill them (so that the jam doesn't bubble out later).

Return the pan to the oven and bake for 3-5 more minutes. Make sure that the bottoms don't burn. Remove and cool on a rack.

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