November 11, 2007

Lemony Jewels

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Often times when I’m looking to bake something but I’m not sure what, I’ll turn to to find the answer. Using the search engine on Epicurious allows you to search past recipes from such wonderful magazines as Bon Appetit and Gourmet. Nine times out of ten I will find something from one of those magazines that catches my eye. That was the case today when I felt like making cookies, but couldn’t pinpoint what kind of cookies. These Lemon Thumbprints were the first ones to jump out at me and I had all of the ingredients so I was off to the kitchen to make them.

I’d never made thumbprint cookies before, but they appealed to me for a few reasons. Firstly, they’re pretty, and I would be lying if I said a baked goods visual appeal doesn’t influence what I think of it. I know there are tons of ugly but delicious cookies out there and plenty of beauties that aren’t palatable, but if you can marry taste and looks you’ve got yourself one stellar cookie. That was my hope when I began making these thumbprints. The other reason that I chose them was that there was something childish and fun about these cookies. I think this is the only treat that you can stick your fingers into and not be scolded for. That’s reason enough to make them for me.

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Lemon Thumbprint Cookies, (Adapted from Bon Appetit, August 1999)

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
2 large egg yolks
4 tablespoons grated lemon peel
2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
6 tablespoons (about) jam or jelly

Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly butter 2 baking sheets.

Using electric mixer, beat 1 cup butter and sugar in large bowl until well blended. Beat in egg yolks, lemon peel, lemon juice and salt.

Add flour in 2 additions and beat just until moist clumps form. Gather dough together in bowl to bind dough.

Chill for 15 minutes.

Form dough into 1-inch balls. Place balls on prepared baking sheets, spacing 1 inch apart. Using finger, make deep indentation in center of each ball. If you want the jam to be slightly chewy, spoon it in before putting the cookies into the oven.
Bake cookies until firm to touch and golden on bottom, about 15 minutes. Remove from oven. Immediately fill indentation in each cookie with scant 1/2 teaspoon jam or jelly. Transfer cookies to racks and cool completely. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Store between sheets of waxed paper in airtight container at room temperature. Cookies will soften slightly.)


Peabody said...

I almost made thumbprint cookies last night. The Grinch was on and I felt like holiday baking. I'm holding off though.

Kristen said...

I am making thumbprint cookies in my holiday giveaway tins this year. Looks delicious!

K & S said...

I love thumbprint cookies, especially with the jelly in the middle getting a little chewy and the flaky cookie...yum.

slush said...

OoOo. My Gram usually makes thumbprints rolled in nuts. Maybe Ill try and impress her with a new thumbprint. Very nice!

StickyGooeyCreamyChewy said...

I love thumbprint cookies. I've never tried them with lemon, but it sounds great. I usually roll mine in coconut. I'll bet that would work with these too.

gigi said...

I love thumbprints! I gave them out as Christmas gifts last year and everyone loved them. Great job on the photographing, they look so delicious!

Patricia Scarpin said...

I want to make these for Xmas, Bri!

Annemarie said...

Heh - I saw the title and first thought it said 'Lemony Jowels' as an allusion to what you'd get after eating too many. :) I love epicurious for a source of inspiration as well - it helped me make my dinner last night, in fact!

hannehanne said...

Wow, they're so pretty! I use epicurious a lot too, but I get so overwhelmed. So many recipes, so little time!

Cookie baker Lynn said...

Lovely thumbprint cookies! I make them every year for Christmas, but I've never tried lemon ones. What flavor jam did you use?

Rachel said...

I love thumbprint cookies. They are so easy to make yet so festive.

Cheryl said...

So true. How many desserts cake you stick your thumb into and be commended.

The perfect Christmas cookie.

eatme_delicious said...

I don't usually like thumbprint cookies but these lemon ones look like they'd be really good!

Deborah said...

I have never made thumbprint cookies before - these sound wonderful! There is something about them that screams out "Holidays!!!" to me!

Kelly-Jane said...

I've never made thumprints either, but look at those pictures! Particularty the first one, fabulous...their time is coming in my kitchen!

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

And even if you just poke your finger at them it works. And the jelly looks so gorgeous . . . but apple butter would taste so good, not look as pretty . . . guess I'd go for taste and looks too!

Cynthia said...

Brilynn, these look perfect. I made something similiar earlier in the year and put guava jam in the middle. Yum!