Oh my goodness, these cookies are so very, very delicious.
They came out so much better than I thought they would. When I first started to prepare them yesterday, I intended to make a half-batch. Then as I was mixing together the flour with the other dry ingredients I had a change of heart and decided to make the full batch and give some of them away. Later, after all the ingredients were mixed together I turned the dough out onto the carving board and attempted to bring it all together in the disc that was to go into the refrigerator. The dough kept crumbling and would not come together! I was beginning to get worried and thought that possibly in my decision to make a full batch I had miscounted the cups of flour and dumped in too much. So I divided the dough in half in order to make it easier to work with and kept at it until I finally formed two cohesive discs.
I remained unconvinced, however, that my little cookies were going to be okay. In fact, I was so sure that they were irreversibly wrecked, that while they baked in the oven, I composed a whole post in my head about kitchen failures and what that does to my inner chef (or in this case, my inner baker).
So you can imagine my delight when I pulled them out of the oven looking all sweet and dainty. I could barely allow them enough time to cool before I bit into them. They were soft and scrumptious; not at all the dry, crumbly mess that I had envisioned. In retrospect, I think my blunder may have been, in my haste, not waiting for the butter to fully come to room temperature. Thankfully, it ended up being just a tiny mistake that didn't affect the outcome.
I really think that the quality of the jam makes or breaks this cookie. Use an ordinary jam and you will have an ordinary cookie. Use a quality jam and you will have a fabulous cookie!
For about 1/4 of the cookies I used this seedless raspberry jam from West Virginia. I love that this jam does not contain corn syrup. It's hard to find store-bought jams and jellies that aren't made with corn syrup.
For most of the cookies, I used this orange marmalade that my parents brought back for me from Florida. They were so good that when I made the second disc of cookies I used only the marmalade.
Jam Thumbprint Cookies - a Barefoot Contessa Recipe
- 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
- Raspberry and/or apricot jam
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. 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. (If you have a scale they should each weigh 1 ounce.) Dip each ball into the egg wash and then roll it in coconut. 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 coconut is a golden brown. Cool and serve.
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