While we experience a brief reprieve from extreme heat and humidity, I thought I’d share an easy thumbprint cookie recipe.
I bought Alice Waters‘ The Art of Simple Food awhile go – they have it at Kramer Books in Dupont Circle (where you can also get a great cup of coffee at the bar). It’s become my go-to cookbook after a market run where I ended up buying a bunch of stuff and I have no clue what to make out of it. It’s also my “I’m tired and don’t want to cook” cookbook. Why? Because it’s all about…um…simple food. Take the most basic, in-season ingredients, bring out their natural flavors and eat. Lather, rinse, repeat.
I’m enjoying her cookbook but, being more of a baker type, I was looking for a recipe of the carbohydrate variety. Enter: tart dough.
Ok. The recipe I’d been using for tart dough was really the bane of my baker experience. I always talk about trusting the recipe. Well, I just did not trust this recipe. Even though everything usually works out just fine…I just didn’t feel like this dough was gonna be my go-to recipe.
Alice Waters’ tart dough intrigued me because it was actually a dough. More solid than paste. It’s roll-able, not shmear-able. Also, for being a sweet tart dough, it’s got a little hint of salty that, I feel, adds an unexpected edge to your treats. When I read a footnote at the end of the recipe saying I could use the dough for thumbprint cookies, all was settled.
I had strawberry rhubarb jam from The Copper Pot Food Company and some mascarpone cheese which sounded like a pretty good combo to me (and it was)! You could use any type of jam…but I wouldn’t recommend any kind of cheese :) If you like your mascarpone cheese a little sweeter, add a tablespoon of sugar at a time until it’s where you want it to be. Experiment!
These are decadent, rich little cookies and I bet they’d go well with a little coffee or tea after a big meal or dinner party.
Adapted from Alice Waters The Art of Simple Food
Beat together until creamy:
8tbs unsalted butter
Add and mix until completely combined:
1/4tsp vanilla extract
1 egg yolk
1 ¼c all-purpose unbleached flour
Mix well, stirring and folding until there are no dry patches. Chill for at least four hours or overnight until firm.
Roll dough into 1-inch balls. Roll the balls in sugar and place on a parchment lined baking sheet about an inch apart. Press your thumb into the top of each cookie to make a depression. Bake them in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for 12 minutes, remove from the oven.
Make sure you have:
A jar of any fruit jam you like
1/2 a small tub of mascarpone cheese, about 1/2 cup
1-2tbsp sugar for mascarpone, optional
Fill the depressions with the mascarpone mixture first and then the strawberry rhubarb jam. Place back in the oven and bake for an additional 10 minutes, or until golden brown around the bottom edges.