7 Days of Christmas Cookies: Cookie #5
This recipe for Almond Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies starts with a shortbread base that is soft as pillows in the middle and a little crumbly around the edges. It’s finished with a sweet jammy center that’s a little gooey and not too sticky. And they are good.
Right now I’m listening to T. Swift and eating biscotti dough. Just in case you’re wondering what my Friday nights are like… It’s probably making you feel good about your Friday nights!
But good news — I’ve decided on Cookie #7 and it’s under way.
Now let’s get deep. Is anyone else thinking of New Year’s Resolutions yet?
I’ve already thought of mine. And I’m gonna legit come up with an action plan for each.
#1. Save more.
Action Plan: Get a library card.
That’s as far as the action plan has gotten… Promise I’ll work on it more.
I did make a Final Splurge Plan though: Buy a fancy schmancy DSLR camera in an after-Christmas sale.
I get a little anxiety when I think about making such an expensive purchase.
But it’s an investment, right? I’ll definitely use it forever, right? Food blogging today, traveling the world tomorrow, baby’s first pics someday way in the future… I’m just planning ahead for all those other life plans that I’ve planned ahead… Right? Right!
My other resolution:
#2. Do less.
I do have a great, extensive Action Plan for this one, but I’ll save that for another day. It’s not quite as exciting as a *new camera.*
OK. So I know these cookies don’t LOOK particularly great. They aren’t my best photos → which is exactly why I need a new camera, right? ←, but they also in general just didn’t turn out very pretty. I promise, they are 100% there on taste, but I still have a lot to learn about presentation.
It’s an almond shortbread base, soft as pillows in the middle and a little crumbly around the edges, with sweet jammy centers that are a little gooey and not too sticky. And they are good. They aren’t the prettiest, but they are gooood. But, ya know, it wouldn’t be like me to stick with a recipe. Why would I ever follow instructions?? Because then we wouldn’t have these soft little pillow cookies filled with a sweet, velvet-creamy dark chocolate raspberry ganache, would we? It pays to play a little.
Serious question though for you more experienced bakers: Should I have put the ganache into the thumbprints before baking the cookies? Would the chocolate burn? Part of the reason they are so ugly is because the dough rose while it baked and the cookie lost its shape. What do you think?
Almond Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies
- 1 cup butter softened
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flourFor jam centers
- 1/2 cup seedless red raspberry jamFor ganache centers
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter cut into pieces
- 4 1/2 ounces bittersweet chocolate coarsely chopped
- 2 tablespoons seedless raspberry jamTo finish
- Coarse sugar or white sanding sugar
In a medium bowl beat butter on medium speed for about 30 seconds. Add the sugar and almond extract. Beat until well combined. Beat in as much flour as you can with electric mixer and then stir in any remaining flour using a wooden spoon. Cover dough and chill for 1 hour or until dough is easy to handle.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Place balls 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Using your thumb, press an indentation into the center of each ball.
If making jam centers, spoon about 1/2 teaspoon of the jam into each indentation and then sprinkle with finishing sugar. Bake about 8-10 minutes or until edges are light brown. Cool on cookie sheets for 1 minute. Transfer cookies to wire racks to finish cooling.
If making ganache centers, bake shaped and thumbprinted cookies about 8-10 minutes or until edges are light brown. Re-press the thumbprints while cookies are hot. Cool on cookies sheets for 1 minute. Transfer cookies to wire racks to finish cooling. Meanwhile, to make the ganache, heat the cream and butter in a medium sauce pan over medium heat until the cream starts to boil and the butter melts, stirring often. Place the chocolate in a food processor and process until it's finely chopped. Gradually add the hot cream and process until the mixture is smooth. Add the raspberry preserves and process until well mixed. Use an icing bag or a spoon to dollop ganache into cookie centers. Sprinkle with finishing sugar and let cool.