Wednesday, July 25, 2007

An American Classic

Thumbprint Cookies with Sour Cherry Jam
Way back when I was in elementary school reading Betty Crocker's Boys & Girls Cookbook, I perused recipes for thumbprint cookies.
This cookie has been an iconic element of American kitchens for decades.
I only recently tried it, however, probably because I have only recently come to have a taste for jam.
Go figure.

Only now can I eat a jelly donut, or jam on toast (preferably berry preserves rich with watered down and strained stuff. Oh no).
I still cannot, and never will, stomach it together with peanut butter on a sandwich.

No pb & j for me.

Also, for me peanut butter must be natural, and super chunky.
No shortening additives. It has to have oil that needs to be stirred in.
For baking, however, that shortening is necessary. Natural just doesn't add the correct texture somehow.
I like Skippy's Superchunk for baking.

I take my peanut butter very seriously.
But I digress.

Peanut butter cookies with a well of jam in the center?...I guess I could try that.
The key is to use excellent quality jam, like D'arbo--an amazing gourmet variety out of Austria (available in specialty grocery stores, and Cost Plus World Market, as well as several online sources).
I love D'arbo's sour cherry flavor.
Seriously, seriously amazing. Unreal.

There are many versions of this cookie.
This one is from the book Lip Smackin' Jams and Jellies, by Amy and David Butler (no, I don't think it's THAT Amy).

Peanut Butter "preserve prints"

1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup peanut butter
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon salt
12 ounces sour cherry or strawberry preserves

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a mixing bowl, cream the butter. Add the sugars and beat until mixed.
Add the peanut butter and beat for 1 minute.
Mix the egg and vanilla together and add to the butter mixture. Beat until incorporated. Scrape the sides of the bowl to ensure even mixing.
Mix together the flour, soda, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the batter,
and on low speed mix until all of the flour is incorporated.
Refrigerate dough for 1 to 2 hours.

Scoop cookie dough balls (about 2 teaspoons in size), and roll to form 1 inch balls.
Place balls on ungreased cookie sheets, about 2 inches apart from each other.
Make indentations with a spoon or your finger in the center of each cookie.
Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until light golden in color.
Place the cookies on a cooling rack, and prepare the preserves.

Heat the preserves and strain.
Place cherries or strawberries in the center of the cookies. The remaining juice should be reduced by boiling for about 3 to 5 minutes.
Cool the thickened juice for 1 minute then spoon over the top of the fruit.
*(note: I skipped this heating step. I just used the preserves right out of the jar the old school way. It was fine)

Store cookies in an airtight container, single layer of cookies.



Blogger The Calico Cat said...

Have I told you lately how much you crack me up?

Thanks for the recipe.

Amy - who love PB & J, PB & Bananas, PB & raisins, PB on celery with or with out raisins, PB & chocolate, PB & cinnamon

Get the idea?

I am also a big fan of jelly, preserves - what ever you call it, who ever makes it - but I too "prefer" the natural versions...

4:25 AM  
Blogger Thriftin' Gal @ Junk In My Trunk said...

I am not a big fan of peanut butter on sandwiches, I like it on anything but sandwiches - and I have been known to eat a big spoon of it right from the jar :) lately I have a thing for cashew butter, it is sooo yummy!

And those cookies sure do look good!

7:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

those look yummmy! i have never tried to make them, i think i will put them on my list of things to cook! :)

7:49 PM  

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