Saturday, December 17, 2011

Basic Thumbprint Cookie

Sometimes you collect several recipes for the same type of cookie.  You find one that might be better than the one before but never quite right.  There are several cookies that fit that profile for me.  One of which is the ever-famous thumbprint cookie.  They come out too hard, too soft, too crumbly, or just plain old dry.  I am happy to report I believe I have found the one!  This will be my official thumbprint cookie recipe.
This cookie has all of the basic ingredients but I think there are three big pluses for this cookie.  First, this cookie seems to have the perfect balance of the ingredients.  The texture of the cookie has a slightly crisp bite with a moist tender center and still have that melt in your mouth quality of a butter cookie.  The second plus is the fact that the recipe only calls for egg yolks instead of the whole eggs.  This also produces a moist tender cookie.  The third is that instead of filling them with jam, I used the Solo brand of fillings.  I found that you could fill the cookie and then bake them incorporating more of the flavor.

In making this recipe I used a few different combinations but you can only imagine the endless possibilities.  One cookie is rolled in finely chopped almonds and filled with raspberry filling.  Another is rolled in a sugar and cocoa combination and filled with almond filling.  The third is rolled in yellow sugar and filled with lemon  curd.  The final cookie is rolled, again, in finely chopped almonds and filled with apricot filling. 
Basic Thumbprint Cookies

2/3 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 egg whites, lightly beaten
1 cup finely chopped nuts, sprinkles, coconut, etc.
1/3 to 1/2 cup Solo filling (almond, apricot, raspberry, etc.)

1.  In a large bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds.  Add sugar.  Beat until combined, scraping bowl occasionally.  Beat in egg yolks and vanilla until combined.  Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer.  Stir in any remaining flour.  Cover and chill for about 1 hour or until dough is easy to handle.

2.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Grease cookie sheets.  Shape dough into a 1-inch ball.  Roll each ball in egg whites and then the nuts, sprinkles, coconut, etc.  Using your thumb, make an indentation in each dough ball.  Add 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon of filling to each cookie indentation.  Place pan in refrigerator and chill for at least 15 minutes before baking.

3.  Bake in the preheated oven for 10 to 12 minutes.  Check at approximately 9 minutes.  Bottoms and edges should be lightly golden brown.  Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.  These cookies should be served immediately but can be frozen.  Place a layer of plastic wrap lightly over each layer of cookies in container.  Freeze.

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