Thursday, March 11, 2010

Thumb Print Cookies

I make hamantashen each year for Purim but this year I was just a week behind on pretty much everything, so I didn't get them made in time (okay, I made the dough, but I didn't get them baked until yesterday). Since I was making them late, I decided to use the dough to make thumb print cookies instead. I can't remember where I got the actual recipe from, though I believe it was from aish.com (and if anyone recognises this recipe, please let me know where it's from so I can amend this post with a real link to the original). Anyway, the dough is really sticky and soft so even when chilled, it's horribly difficult to roll out and get the corners to stick during baking (which turns them into weird flat things that I didn't want to show you). It occurred to me after the first batch that thumb prints would work better with this dough. And they did. Hope you enjoy!

Dough:

1/2 cup butter/margarine
2/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla (I use significantly more than that)
2 eggs
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
pinch salt

Cream together the butter, sugar and vanilla. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add in the dry ingredients. Cut the dough in half, then wrap each half in plastic and refrigerate (up to a week, apparently). Roll to 1/8" thick and cut into 3" rounds. Add 1 teaspoon of filling, then pinch to form triangle (use water on the edge). Bake on a greased cookie sheet for 15-20 minutes in an oven preheated to 350F.

Thumbprint directions: Wrap the dough and refrigerate, then pinch off large chunks of dough and roll into golf ball sized balls. Put them on a greased baking sheet and dip your thumb in water, then make a depression in the ball. Fill the well in each ball with filling, then bake 20-23 minutes in an oven preheated to 350F.

Date Filling:

1/4 cup margarine or oil
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 cup chopped dates
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ginger
grated rind of 1 lemon

Melt butter (or heat oil) and stir in sugar and dates. Simmer on low heat for 5 minutes, then remove from heat. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Spoon into cookies before baking.

Poppy Seed Filling:

1 cup ground poppy seeds
1/2 cup honey
1/3 cup raisins
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tablespoon oil

Combine all ingredients and spoon onto dough circles before baking.

(alternately, you can just use jams or a nut and sugar filling, which is what I did this year because I ate all the dates as snacks and was too lazy to make the poppy filling)

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