Monday, December 19, 2005

Time flies...

And just like that it's been a dew days since I last posted. I've been a bit busy. Not quite as I want to be, but busy nonetheless. I've made a few things in the kitchen, but nothing super noteworthy...Hmm...I don't think that's right, but I'll get back to that. I attempted to make spritz cookies this weekend, but the darned cookie press was not cooperating. I must have spent an hour trying to press out little wreaths and Christmas trees before I threw the thing across the room and grabbed the rolling pin. I ended up rolling out those cookies, and cutting them out with mini cutters. They turned out cute, but I know I overworked the dough wrestling with it, so they were not very tender. But that's okay, they were for a church function anyway.

Ah yes.

Jam Thumbprints.

Crumbly little bites of buttery sweet shortbread, wrapped in toasted coconut and finished off with a tiny morsel of apricot sweetness. That Ina Garten sure knows what she is doing in the kitchen. The recipe calls for apricot or raspberry preserves, and in the past I've tried them all, and the apricot really is best. Although for a color contrast I used blackberry this year, and they are almost as good, so that works for me. These may well be my favorite Christmas Cookie. (Course, I say that about every cookie.)

And today I tried another recipe that Joe shared over at Culinary In The Desert. That Joe could easily become my best friend of he keeps it up. Peanut Butter Filled Chocolate Cookies are the perfect blend of chocolate and peanut butter- with the bonus that they are really fun to eat. These unassuming little chocolate domes give way to reveal a center of meltaway peanut butter. They were much easier to make than I thought they would be, and I have to give them a huge thumbs up. They are definitely going on my cookie platters. Joe tweaked a BH&G recipe for a caramel chocolate cookie, and I am anxiously awaiting his nect "tweaking". Keep it up Joe!

So here are the recipes for The Peanut Butter Filled Chocolate Cookies, and the Jam Thumbprints. Enjoy!

* Exported from MasterCook *
Peanut Butter filled chocolate cookies

1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup dutch cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup butter -- softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup peanut butter
1 egg
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
Peanut Butter Filling
3/4 cup sifted confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup peanut butter
2 tablespoons granulated sugar

Preheat oven to 350
Sift together the flour, cocoa powder and baking soda in a medium bowl.
In a large bowl beat together butter, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, brown sugar and 1/4 cup peanut butter until well combined. Add egg, milk and vanilla. Beat well. Gently mix in the flour mixture about 1/3 at a time until incorporated. Form the chocolate dough into 32 balls.
For the filling
Combine confectioners' sugar and 1/2 cup peanut butter in a mixing bowl and beat until smooth. Form into 32 balls.
Working on a silpat or parchment, gently flatten each chocolate ball. Top with peanut butter ball. Carefully fold chocolate dough over the peanut butter ball and seal the edges. Roll dough into a ball.
Place balls on a parchment lined baking sheet. Lightly flatten with the bottom of a glass dipped in 2 tablespoons granulated sugar.
Bake cookies for about 8 minutes,until the surface begins to slightly crack. Let cool for 1 minute on the sheet. Transfer to wire racks and cool completely

* Exported from MasterCook *

3/4 pound unsalted butter -- (3 sticks) at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water -- for egg wash
7 ounces sweetened flaked coconut
Raspberry and/or apricot jam

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar until just combined, and then add the vanilla. Separately, sift together the flour and salt. With the mixer on low speed, 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 wrap 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.


Cate said...

I've made Ina's Jam Thumbprints and agree - fantastic stuff. But then again, with 3 sticks of butter, you really can't go wrong. :)

All Things Jennifer said...

I made my first batch of thumbprints yesterday and Oh.My. Gosh . are they divine! :)