We happened upon a weekend where we knew we wanted to make something, but we didn’t want to run out and buy any crazy ingredients. As usual, we were being our typical recession ready selves. Funny how a thin wallet can be the impetus for creativity! We had a few lone items–strawberries, almonds, port wine, bittersweet chocolate–that would be perfect for a dessert. A dessert like a cookie perhaps. The real reason we settled on cookies was due to a pound of Plugra in the fridge. Yes, the European-esque butter. Plugra for a cookie? Super. Plugra for a cookie that involves strawberries, almonds, port wine and bittersweet chocolate? Super excellent.
The world of the thumbprint is not new to us in theory. We’ve heard of them, we’ve seen them, perhaps we’ve even had a few. But we’d never made them. We took a basic buttery cookie recipe and brewed our own favorite version of a strawberry wine jelly that we’ve made many, many times before. Of course, you could use any fruit–raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, etc. We made these cookies with fresh berries frozen from the end of summer, so they were still naturally sweet. Now that we’re in the fall season, you could use frozen berries of course.
Chocolate & Strawberry Thumbprint Cookies – 1 1/2 dozen
Cookies (inspired by Joy of Cooking)
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temp
1/4 cup sugar
1 large egg, separated
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup almonds, toasted and chopped
8-10 large strawberries, destemmed and quartered
1 1/2 cups port wine
Juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup sugar
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1. Start cookie dough by creaming butter and sugar with an electric mixer until fluffy, approximately 5 minutes. Add egg yolk and vanilla, mixing well.
2. In a separate bowl, whisk flour and salt. Add to wet ingredients and mix until just combined. Cover and chill in the fridge for at least an hour.
3. Pour wine into a shallow pan and add strawberries. Stir in lemon juice and wine. Cook on medium high heat until thickened, approximately 8-10 minutes. (As fruit cooks down, mash berries with a fork or spatula to speed up the process.) Remove from heat. When cool enough, transfer jelly to a small bowl, cover and set in the fridge.
4. Once dough is ready, pour egg white into a cup or small bowl and whisk until frothy. Pour nuts onto a plate or wax paper. Make balls of dough and dunk in egg white followed by a roll in the nuts.
5. Lay dough on parchment paper covered baking sheets and flatten slightly with the palm of your hand. Bake in a preheated oven at 375 degrees for 12-15 minutes or until bottoms turn golden brown. Remove from oven and immediately press a hole in each cookie with your finger (if you have asbestos hands!), the back of a spoon, etc. Transfer to wire racks to cool.
6. As cookies cool, put chopped chocolate into a heat resistant bowl and set over a small pot of simmering water. Stir chocolate slightly until it’s completely melted and smooth. Remove from heat and scrape into a piping bag or plastic baggie with the tip cut off.
7. Drop a dollop of jam into the center of each cookie, making sure to fill them completely. Once all of the cookies have been filled, drizzle them with chocolate. (These cookies taste great warm and even better once they’ve had a chance to cool completely and set.)
Click HERE for the printable recipe.
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