Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Thumbprint (birdsnest) cookies

My mama rules. Like she's the best baker on the planet, hands down, no competition.  She's the best mom ever.  Growing up my mom called these birds nest cookies. Here in America they are called Thumbprints. Whichever name you prefer, is ok with me, because these cookies are so good. They have only a bit of sugar which i love because i don't really dig overly sweet cookies. These cookies are buttery and delicate and so, so good. Make them for your favorite people and go hug your mother :)
And, again, let me apologize for my lack of artistic talent in photos. That is what cybelle is for. Not everyone can be a photographer, and i assure you, i have no qualms admitting that I'm about as bad as they come. Lucky for me, i am a baking goddess (who has a bff who is a great photographer, but she's not here right now)....

Thumbprint Cookies from http://www.thejoyofbaking.com/

1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated white sugar
1 large egg, separated
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup (130 grams) all purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (100 grams) hazelnuts, almonds, pecans or walnuts, toasted and finely chopped
1/2 cup jam  (i used cherry and apricot)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) and place rack in center of oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy (2-3 minutes). Add the egg yolk and vanilla extract and beat until combined.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. Add the flour mixture to the batter and beat just until combined. If the batter is too soft to roll into balls, refrigerate for about 30 minutes.
4. In a small bowl, whisk the egg white until frothy. Place the chopped nuts on a plate. Roll the dough into 1 inch (2.5 cm) balls. Taking one ball of dough at a time, dip first into the egg white and then lightly roll in the nuts. Place on the prepared baking sheet spacing about 1 inch (2.5 cm) apart. Using your thumb or end of a wooden spoon, make a indentation into the center of each cookie and fill with about 1/2 teaspoon of jam.
5. Bake for about 13-15 minutes, or until cookies are set and the nuts have nicely browned. Remove from oven and place on wire rack to cool

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