Monday, August 15, 2011

Apricot Thumbprints

A few times a week I make a point to sit down with a pot of tea and a treat. Sometimes my teatime is with a friend or my husband, other times I sit quietly by myself and reflect on the day. There is a soothing quality to brewing a pot of tea. It connects me with generations of the past.The realization comes with age. My mother would be so proud!

These apricot thumbprints can be made with various ground nut and jam combinations. I chose walnuts and apricots this time and the combination was lovely with my cup of tea. They also accompanied me to a concert last night where I had a fabulous picnic with friends.

Apricot Thumbprints
Source: Baking by Dorie Greenspan

1 ¾ cups finely ground walnuts
1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
2     sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
½    cup sugar
1     teaspoon pure vanilla extract
½    teaspoon pure almond extract
       Powdered sugar, for dusting
       About 1 cup apricot jam

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Line baking sheet with parchment.

Whisk together the ground nuts and flour.

In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the extracts and beat to blend. Reduce the mixer speed to low and gradually add the nut-flour mixture, mixing only until it is incorporated into the dough.

Working with a teaspoonful of dough at a time, roll the dough between your palms to form small balls and place the balls 2 inches apart on the baking sheets. Steadying each cookie with the thumb and a finger of one hand, use the pinkie of your other hand to poke a hole in the center of each cookie. Be careful not to go all the way down to the baking sheet.

Bake for 15-18 minutes. The cookies should be only slightly colored - they may even look underdone, which is fine: they should not be overbaked. When the cookies are baked, remove the baking sheet from the oven and let the cookies rest on the sheet 2 minutes before transferring them to cooling racks with a wide metal spatula. Sift powdered sugar over them.

Bring the jam to a boil in a small saucepan over low heat, or in a microwave oven; remove from heat. Fill the indentations of the cookies with enough of the hot jam to come level with the tops. Cool to room temperature. Cookies can be stored in an airtight container for 3 days at room temperature or 2 months in the freezer. Enjoy with a friend.

Harmony's Thoughts
Think small when you roll these with a teaspoon of dough. I used an actual measuring teaspoon, not a teaspoon from my silverware. 
I baked these for about 10-12 minutes and only sifted powdered sugar and filled them as needed.
The cookie has the delicious texture of shortbread.

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