Friday, July 29, 2016

Apricot-Pineapple Thumbprint Cookies

Last month I was gifted a box of local just-picked apricots.  For days I made pies, crisps, and multiple batches of apricot and apricot-pineapple jam. By the time I had gone through that box we were pretty much over apricots! Of course, now I'm missing them!

I give a lot of jam away to friends and family.  In my household, jam isn't just used for toast or PBJ's.  I use jam a lot in baking and in cooking. It's a great addition to most baked items and is easily incorporated into marinades and sauces for meat. I probably use apricot jam the most.

One of my favorite baked treats that include jam are thumbprint cookies.  It's basically a shortbread, rolled into a ball, with an indention made on top to hold some jam. Obviously, any flavor of jam will work. They are easy to make and very delicious.  My favorite thumbprint cookie recipe comes from the Barefoot Contessa.
On this evening I decided to use some of the apricot-pineapple jam I had made.  The recipe calls for the dough balls to be rolled in an egg wash followed by coconut. I was doing a million other things at the same time that night, so decided to make the process a little easier by incorporating the coconut into the dough. It worked out wonderfully and, to be honest, was a lot easier and less messy! The combination of the pineapple in the jam, and the coconut, gave the cookies a little tropical flair.

Jam Thumbprint Cookies

3/4 pound (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash
7 ounces sweetened flaked coconut

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar until they are just combined and then add the vanilla. Separately, sift together the flour and salt. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture to the creamed butter and sugar. Mix until the dough starts to come together. Stir in coconut. Dump on a floured board and roll together into a flat disk. Wrap in plastic and chill for 30 minutes.

Roll the dough into 1 1/4-inch balls. (I used a small ice cream scoop). Dip each ball into the egg wash and then roll it in coconut (see note below). Place the balls on an ungreased cookie sheet and press a light indentation into the top of each with your finger. Drop 1/4 teaspoon of jam into each indentation. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the bottoms are a golden brown. Remove to cooling rack.

My notes:

Finally chopped nuts can be substituted for the coconut.  I omitted the coconut-rolling step and stirred in 1 cup coconut into the dough.
I had a helper for one of my jam-making sessions!

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