Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Recipe #37: Raspberry Jam Coconut Thumbprints

This dough is extremely versatile, and is a basic shortbread dough...no eggs.  I will be posting two other cookie recipes using this same dough.   These cookies look lovely before going into the oven, and even lovelier after taking them out of the oven.  I make these for my Boehm's family every year...it's their favorite.  If you're not a lover of coconut, you can roll these cookies in any finely chopped nut, or even sugar.  I do remember about 5 years ago, I added half the amount of flour the recipe called for...very buttery and flat as a pancake, but still good.

3 sticks butter                                                                   1 cup sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla or almond extract                            3 1/2 cups flour
   (I usually use vanilla, but almond would                 1/4 tsp salt
   be great with the raspberry)                                       1 egg beaten in a bowl with 1 tbsp water
raspberry preserves                                                         2-3 cups coconut

In a mixer bowl, cream together the butter, sugar and salt until blended, about 2 minutes.  Add vanilla, then incorporate flour, about 1/2 cup at a time.  Empty mixer and put dough on counter.  I usually divide in 2 and put each on a piece of plastic wrap.  Close the wrap loosely, then flatten with the palm of your hand into a disc.  Refrigerate for at least an hour, or place in freezer Ziploc and put in freezer for future use.  Roll dough into about 1 1/4" balls...I have an old postal scale I put each one on...actually, I do this more to see how close I am in weight...each should weigh about 1 oz.   Then I usually proceed this way.  I put all of the balls on one half of a parchment-lined cookie sheet, then have the egg wash next to that, then have the coconut in a medium bowl.  The raspberry preserves are in a small bowl that I have stirred a few times with a fork just to loosen up and are on standby next to the coconut.  Dip each ball into the egg wash and then roll in the coconut, lightly pressing onto the dough to adhere better, then place on the other half of the cookie sheet.  Proceed with all of the dough.  This is where my wooden lemon reamer comes in handy, for I use the bottom of the handle to make a round indentation in each cookie, and it's the perfect size, (see below).  You could also use a melon baller if you have one; otherwise, just use your finger, and if the dough is somewhat soft, dip your finger lightly in flour then press a round indentation.  Drop a spoonful of jam into each indentation, then I take the coconut that has fallen off and press lightly onto each cookie.  Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the coconut starts to turn brown.  You need to keep an eye out at about the 20 minute mark so that the coconut doesn't burn.  Place on a cooling rack.  Bon appetit!


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