Orange Cranberry Buttery Thumbprints

I’m later getting this post out tonight than planned, but Monday is my mass action day. Meditations and workouts are top priority, and I’ve recently added an important meeting to the list. It’s not that this blog isn’t important. But folks can wait for cookies. Personal development comes first for this chick.

Plus, I’m going to go ahead and admit that these cookies have been the bane of my cookie creative existence. I couldn’t get them consistent. I’m positive now, after much experimenting, that the trick is just cold dough. Plain and simple.

This dough is a biatch. It’s dry like pie crust when you mix it, and I actually considered using a pastry cutter today. Instead, I donned the blue kitchen gloves, and then worked it with my hands until it was nice and smooth. I would definitely use a stand mixer, and go ahead and make this recipe as written. You can halve it, but you’ll be sorry. This is my third batch. So I’m on like 55 dozen cookies now, for the season. And I’m very close to over it.

I’m kind of rambling. Anyway, make the whole 5 dozen or so, because they are bite sized, and everyone (including you) will want more.

I was convinced the first batch of these was not good, until I ate one. Well, five actually. It was 5. I think. The problem was, they were U-G-L-Y. That’s right. No alibi, they ugly. Someone my age is laughing at that sentence. I think it’s referencing the movie, “Valley Girl”. Or the one where Goldie Hawn coaches a football team. I think it’s called “Wild Cats”. And again with the rambling!! Ok, what happened was that I figured they were nasty cookies, so I didn’t think too much about making them cute. And they really do deserve to be cute. I just slapped some powdered sugar on them thinking WHATever.

They. Were. Hideous. Look!!

I probably should’ve skipped the branding on that pic. Oh, well. You have to own the failures along with the victories in life.

Regardless of how they turned out aesthetically, flavor wise they do not disappoint. At all.

This is the improved version…

Much better. Same density. The powdered sugar rocks. I rolled all the dough balls in granulated sugar prior to baking for one reason only. Ease of indentation!! I’ll explain in the recipe. It just works.

After I got these to my liking, I played with the second half of the dough, and as suspected, if you let the dough get just a touch too soft, they will spread, and I also used the convex side of a measuring spoon to create the indentation on the second batch. They are almost two different cookies. But not really.

I used melted chocolate as a decorative drizzle, but I like the powdered sugar better taste wise. I think next season I’ll make them both, simply because these are so much prettier. This dough is super versatile. It’s perfect for using in a cookie press, so play around with it. I like to keep it super simple because I’m baking a lot of stuff. Bowls, spoons and paddles are easy to clean. Cookie guns, not so much. We will see next time. After this 11 days, I’m done for awhile with cookies. My tummy can’t afford the taste tests much longer.

I want to get you prepared that these aren’t the easiest cookies to deal with. The dough can be frustrating, and you need to powder your hands with flour or sugar. It can be sticky. I’ll give you tips throughout the recipe to help you along.

The ingredients are super simple. You can use any filling you like. Given yesterday’s recipe, I tend to think some lemon and blueberry ones would be good in the spring. With white chocolate drizzle. Strawberry or raspberry would be awesome too. Inspiration is everlasting. I was looking for a winter flavor, or craving a Cosmopolitan, I’m not sure; but I chose this combo of orange marmalade and cranberry sauce. It’s marvelous.

You’ve got a jar of something in the fridge or cupboard. And I’d bet money you have these few other ingredients as well. Go see.

What You Need:

2 c butter, softened. (4 sticks) Not melted.

1 c powdered sugar, sifted, plus more for dusting

3 tsp pure vanilla extract

1/4 tsp salt

4 c all purpose flour

1/2 c granulated sugar for rolling the dough balls in.

1 c any thick fruit jam or fruit curd like lemon. I used 3/4 c cranberry sauce mixed with 1/4 c orange marmalade.

1 c white chocolate chips if desired

What You Do:

In bowl of stand mixer, cream the butter, sugar and vanilla. You want your butter just soft enough that it gives when pressed. Let these roll in the mixer about 2 minutes while you sift the flour and salt. Keep the butter fluffy, not melty. Very important.

Sift and whisk the salt in a separate bowl.

Gradually add flour and salt to the butter and only beat until it forms a sticky ball.

This is where I scrape the bowl and get the gloves on. The mixer will do the job eventually, but time is valuable and we can’t get it back.

No matter what, you have to chill this dough or it will bake to a pancake. Cut the ball in half or in quarters, roll it in film wrap, chill an hour.

While this is going down, mix your jams or get them ready.

Preheat oven to 325 and situate a rack in the middle position.

Line cookie sheets with parchment. You definitely have to have this.

When you get the dough out, you’ll have to work it or wait it out. You need it to be no softer than Play-Doh™️. Press and manipulate it (not too much) or just give it a few minutes to get pliable.

Start ballin’. My 1 oz cookie scoop makes them too big, so I use the scoop and pinch some off. About a third.

Roll the ball tight. Toss it in granulated sugar.

Now here’s where you can decide if you want a flatter cookie, or something more like a little ball with jam in the center.

To keep it more round and tight, use the end of a wooden spoon to poke a hole in the dough ball. You can shape them upward as you go along. Keep the jam well deep.

To get a flatter cookie, use the back side of a 1/2 tsp measuring spoon to press a little well into the dough ball.

Both methods work fine. It is a matter of preference.

Space them about an inch and a half apart on cookie sheet.

Use a tiny spoon, piping bag or a bottle to fill the jam wells. It’s fine if a little spills.

Please set your timer to 8 minutes and keep an eye on these. 8-10 minutes is max time for baking. They should stay pale to golden at most. Like this here…

Cool a couple minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer to a rack for cooling at least 10 minutes. Try to resist the urge to bite into a hot one. That jam is hot as hell. Ask me how I know?

I dust them with powdered sugar soon as they come out, but if you are drizzling, let them cool first. Your drizzle will be a melty mess if applied to a hot cookie.

If you choose to drizzle, just melt your cup of chips with a teaspoon of shortening (nothing else!!) in the microwave. If you have bad luck melting chocolate, let it heat a whole minute before stirring and make sure there is no water anywhere near the chips. The tiniest drop of water can wreak havoc on chocolate that needs to be melted.

I use a ziplock bag as a piping bag for candy or chocolate. It’s easier to dispose of that mess.

This one is mine!!

Enjoy the rest of your evening, my friends. I’m finishing a 5 night “Die Hard” marathon because Bruce Willis, of course!! Duh. It’s not because they’re Christmas movies, silly.

Bake cookies. Share love.

©️2018 cHELLe ON WHEELS

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