Thursday, November 19, 2015

Cranberry Thumbprint Cookies

I stress bake.  It's what I have to do when I am worrying about myself to keep my hands and mind busy.  That means you can expect lots of baked goods recipes coming up, because stress has become my way of life over the past few weeks!

Anyway, the stress of Bridget's life brings you these cranberry thumbprint cookies.  My mom actually picked these cranberries in the woods.  How cool is that?  Massachusetts can be so cool sometimes.  She had pocketfuls of cranberries with no real plan for them, so I squirreled them away to my house and found this recipe, which was just lengthy enough to keep me busy on a stressful weekend evening.  In fact, since Poppy has been barking for a solid hour, I wish I had some fresh wild cranberries right about now.

The cookies are interesting because they have cornmeal in them.  They are lightly flavored with orange zest.  And, being thumbprint cookies, they then get filled with a sort of cranberry jam (which, by the way, would be amazing in and of itself).  It's simple to make: you just boil cranberries, sugar, water, and a strip of orange zest until the berries pop.  It makes your house smell like a holiday, and it's beautiful.

Due to my inability to make pretty cookies, the beauty ended there.  My thumbprint cookies were topped with a less-than-attractive dollop of the jam.  I think the problem is that my thumbs are too small so my indents were too shallow, and then I added too much jam because I was so excited about it.  Oh well: look beyond the messy cookies and just take a bite.  The cookies are super crunchy from the cornmeal and being rolled in sugar, and the jam is tart but sweet at the same time.  The orange flavor from both ties them together well.  Perhaps this could be your Thanksgiving dinner contribution?


cranberry thumbprint cookies
from Martha Stewart
makes about 2 dozen cookies

for the cookies:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar, divided
1/2 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
1 large egg, separated
for the filling:
4 ounces fresh cranberries (1 cup)
1/2 cup water, plus more if needed
1/4 cup sugar
1 strip (2 inches) orange zest


1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Make the cookies first: whisk together flour, cornmeal, and salt in a medium bowl.  Beat butter and 1/4 cup sugar with a mixer on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes.  Add orange zest and egg yolk, and mix well.  Reduce speed to low.  Add flour mixture, and mix until just combined.

2) Lightly whisk egg white.  Scoop 2 teaspoons dough, and roll into a ball.  Dip into egg white, and roll in remaining 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar.  Repeat with remaining dough transfer to parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing about 1 inch apart as you work.  Gently press center of each ball with your thumb. Bake, rotating sheets halfway through, until pale golden, 15 to 17 minutes.  Gently indent each cookie again using the handle end of a wooden spoon.  Transfer sheets to wire racks, and let cool.  Cookies can be stored at room temperature for up to 1 week.

3) Meanwhile, make the filling.  Bring cranberries, water, sugar, and orange zest to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat.  Reduce heat, and simmer, gently mashing cranberries, until thick and jamlike, 5 to 6 minutes.  If mixture is too thick, add a little water to thin.  Transfer to a bowl, and let cool completely.  Filling can be refrigerated for up to 1 week.

4) Spoon a small amount of filling into each cookie indentation.

No comments:

Post a Comment