Thursday, May 7, 2009

Can You Dig This Jam (Cookie)?

I've always had a soft spot for thumbprint cookies (or any excuse for eating jam). A while back I discovered that Ina Garten has the best dough recipe. I've made a few small alterations to make it do what I wanted to in the oven. Because the dough is so easy, I always thought it was kind of a cop-out to just put some Smuckers in those suckers. I'm a sophisticate, right?

So I've developed a really phenomenal Mixed Berry Jam (if I do say so myself) to liven up this cookie party. It uses four different kinds of berries, fresh OJ, and Ruby Port for a complex sweetness that will make your mouth water.

Jim Says: "Those cookies are really good, I ate one last night."
(I've literally caught him munching on them all day).
I may have had one with my coffee this morning for breakfast.
They are ridiculously irresistible.

So first, prepare the jam.

Port-Berry Jam
1 cup Ruby Port
1/2 cup Raspberries
1/2 cup Blackberries
1/2 cup Blueberries
1/2 cup Strawberries (quartered)
1/2 cup Sugar
2 tblsp Apricot Jam

1) In a small sauce pan over medium-high heat, combine the port, sugar, berries, and jam.

2) Bring to a boil, reduce to medium-low heat.

3) Simmer/reduce, stirring frequently. Cook until the jam becomes syrupy. Remember that it will thicken when it cools, a candy thermometer should read 225 degrees Fahrenheit.

4) Transfer to a small bowl and cool in the fridge.

Trick: To get my jam to cool faster, I filled a larger bowl with ice-water and set the small bowl with my jam inside it. I whisked the jam to help the heat escape. It was cool enough to work with within 10 minutes!

Thumbprint Cookies
2 sticks Butter
1 cup Sugar
1 Egg Yolk
3 cups Flour
1 tsp Salt
1/4 cup Port-Berry Jam
1 Egg (whipped) + 1 tblsp Water for Egg Wash

1) With an electric mixer, cream the butter, sugar, and egg yolk.

2) Gradually sift in Flour and Salt, mixing on low.

3) Once the dough is thoroughly combined, place it on a floured surface and roll in to a disk. Wrap in wax paper and cool in the fridge until ready to use, a minimum of 30 minutes.

after it cools...

4) Break off pieces dough and roll them in to 1-inch balls. Place the dough-balls on to a cookie sheet.

5) Take your 1/4 tsp measuring spoon, and use the back of the spoon to make an imprint in to each cookie.

6) Brush each cookie with the egg wash.

7) Fill the indentations with 1/4 tsp of jam each.

8) Bake at 350*F for 20-25 minutes!

VOILA! These are some good cookies! The dough is buttery and subtle, and then you get punched with this great jam. You can use jarred jam, but I'd encourage you to try the above recipe at least once, it's easier than it sounds (and I could eat it with a spoon)! Plus, it always sounds good when you slip into a conversation that you made your own jam!

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