5 days ago
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
The name of this week's TWD recipe, Thumbprints for Us Big Guys, makes more sense if you own the cookbook (which you REALLY should!), where it follows the "Kids' Thumbprints." The Kids' Thumbprints are peanut butter cookies (or maybe more accurately, peanut butter and jelly cookies), whereas the Big Guy Thumbprints are more of a buttery nutty shortbread cookie. And, as with many things associated with being a Big Guy, making these may involve the kind of minor hassle that you just don't have to deal with when you're a kid; namely, that of tracking down hazelnuts (Dorie's nut of choice for this recipe), which I never even knew were all that exotic until the mainstream Big Guy grocery store in my medium-sized city did not carry them, at least not in any of the normal places where you would expect nuts to be found, like the nut aisle, the baking aisle, and the bulk specialty foods aisle. I eventually asked, and was alternatively sent to the Asian food aisle (?) and told that it was a seasonal item (?). I was not to be deterred, though -- I've had my eyes on these Big Guys for over a year, so if I had to drive to Nashville or Atlanta or even New York itself (or the Whole Foods on 280), I WOULD find the hazelnuts I needed for this recipe. Then I heard that Kayte and Tracey were using almonds, which I had in the house and love, and suddenly NOT running around town on a nut quest seemed like the sane thing to do. And for once, I did the sane thing.
This is a simple recipe. Mix up the dough (a combination of flour and ground nuts, butter, sugar, salt and vanilla and almond extract). No dough chilling required. Then make thumbprints (pinky prints if you want to get technical) in the dough to make room for the jam. Bake. After they come out of the oven, a quick once-over with the trusty pinky may be necessary.
Once they cool, heat up some jam and fill the indentations. I used some raspberry and some strawberry. I had a helper.
She turned five a couple of months ago, and suddenly she can fill thumbprints as neatly as I can. Quit that growing up too fast, kids.
The verdict? Everybody enjoyed these. I baked the full recipe (which yielded 50 cookies) on Saturday afternoon, and here it is Monday night and they're already gone. I knew I could count on David to eat most of these, and he did not disappoint me. His dad and my dad helped him out - thanks, menfolk. I liked the crumbly texture of these. They teetered on the "dry" line, but not in an unpleasant way. If I make them again, I might do a 3/4 flour to 1/4 ground nut ratio rather than 50/50, but that's just quibbling for quibbling's sake - I thought the cookies were great. I think the stronger flavor of the raspberry jam worked better than the milder strawberry. All in all, this recipe is a keeper and I'll make these again. They'll probably show up again at Christmas.
Mike of Ugly Food Dude chose this week's recipe. Nice pick, Mike!
Posted by Cathy at 12:01 AM