Today's TWD post is brought to you courtesy of Mike at Ugly Food for an Ugly Dude (tee hee).
Thumbprints! A cookie that has always left me feeling ".....eh." They're super cute. They are otherwise underachieving. Yeah, you'll eat them if they are presented to you. But no one ever thinks "gee I sure wish I had me some thumbprints right about now." I don't really like jam-filled stuff (surprise, surprise; see: my fruit dessert aversion) but reminded myself AGAIN about the spirit of TWD and bought a $10 bag of almond meal/flour/whatever you wanna call it to make them.
After buying the bag of almond...grindings, I looked in the fridge and realized I had leftover dough for THREE different TWD cookies in there. I was surely gonna have to pawn it off on somebody. And why not pawn these off, too? Once that was arranged, I set about making the cookies.
This was one of the fastest recipes from start to finish that we've done in a while. I beat the aych out of the butter and sugar and it came together nicely.
Some TWDers complained about crumbliness, but my dough somehow was a perfect consistency for hand-rolling (*pops collar*):
so I didn't chill it as some others suggested. I did give it a few turns with a rubber spatula to be sure it was all together. I scooped out the teaspoons of dough and rolled them, thinking these cookies were gonna be really really tiny!
The picture in the book didn't make them look so small.
Those of you who know me in real life know I have ridiculously skinny alien fingers, which though they are not useful for much are good for 1) threading needles and 2) poking tiny holes in things.
Baked the cookies for 12 minutes. They spread a bit but a respectable amount, not bad, and the holes stayed pretty intact. I did press them down to make them even but they were fine.
Apparently there was a Bonne Maman sale at some point, as I discovered THREE different kinds of it at my house.
In my indecision, I went with the Four-Fruit preserve, which after boiling was easy to spoon by 1/4 tsp into the cookies and gelled nicely. I totally forgot to sprinkle the powdered sugar while the cookies were hot, but it still stayed in place and stayed white for a few days afterwards.
My verdict: an ok, inoffensive cookie. Very pretty; nice to serve with tea...if I ever did that sort of thing. The cookie itself is kind of dry and tasteless; some salt would really have improved it for me. As is, some type of filling--and the powdered sugar garnish--are NON NEGOTIABLE. They gave the cookie the interest and complexity necessary to make it eatable. I didn't hate them, but as a non-thumbprint lover they didn't pull me over to the Dark Jammy Side. I don't anticipate making them again.
I asked my tastetester for an opinion and got the following:
So my careful (and scientific) tasting of the thumbprint cookies has concluded and I am pleased to communicate the results of my inquiry: I think that the cookie achieves a nice balance between cookie and jam. The cookie was neither a vessel for delivering the jam, nor did the jam serve as decoration for a variation on a shortbread cookie. The texture was grainy which made it more cookie than pastry, which I suspect was the desired effect. Although my preference is for over-the-top-butter-saturated-artery-clogging shortbread, I found the cookie to be quite a nice substitute to my usual indulgence. A good simple cookie that nicely provides variety to a cookie plate.
(This is what happens when you ask people with PhDs to review cookies for you.)
*what's up with that title? Do y'all associate thumbprints with little kids? Because they make me think of little old ladies. I'm just sayin'.