Monday, 21 July 2014

Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies

I always love to have a few home baked biscuits in the tin; something nice and sweet to enjoy with a cup of tea after the long and busy days that seem to make up my life. This is my treat to myself and the moment of the day that I always look forward to.

I love reading through my many cookbooks and make mental lists of recipes that I want to try in the future. Because I am quite a confident cook and really enjoy the whole cooking and baking processes, I regularly adapt recipes that I come across and try to put my own stamp on them. I have talked before about the trend towards new and wacky flavour combinations in cooking; and whilst I do think it is important to push culinary boundaries, there are times when some things are just too ridiculous to consider making – and you just yearn for some good old honest cooking with no fancy frills or artifice. A particular pet hate of mine is food that looks amazing but tastes of little or nothing. To my mind these dishes fail, because although food has to look inviting to eat, it must also taste wonderful… because otherwise, what’s the point?
 
Anyway, I was recently thinking about some of the first things that I ever baked and I recalled the jam thumbprint cookies that I loved so much as a child. It is years since I made them, but I was so glad that I recently did. They tasted wonderful. The biscuit is short and sweet with a lovely hint of vanilla which goes so well with the raspberry jam. As I was eating these, I decided that raspberry jam has to be the most wonderful preserve that there is. There is something about the preserving process that accentuates the raspberry flavour and makes your taste buds sing.

There’s nothing more to say about these biscuits – they taste fab, are incredibly easy to make and are something that you can definitely get the children to help with; they just love creating the thumbprints and splodging the jam in.

The one thing that I would recommend is using a good jam, one with a high fruit content because this will make all the difference to the finished product.

Ingredients:

100g butter, softened
85g caster sugar
1 egg yolk
1tsp vanilla extract
115g plain flour
¼ tsp baking powder
30g ground almonds
2tblsp raspberry jam
 

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 150C/Fan Oven 130C/Gas Mark 2. Line a large baking tray with some non-stick baking parchment and set aside.
2. Place the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl and using a hand-held electric mixer, beat together until light and fluffy. Add the egg yolk and vanilla extract and mix through again.
3. Sift the plain flour and baking powder together and fold into the creamed mixture along with the ground almonds.
4. Take tablespoonfuls of the mixture and gently roll them into balls in the palm of your hands (you should get 16-18) and place them on the lined baking sheet, spacing them about 5cms apart. Slightly flatten each ball of dough and using your thumb or the bottom of a wooden spoon make a small indentation in each. Fill the indentation with a little splodge of raspberry jam (about half a teaspoonful). Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes approximately until a pale golden colour. Allow to cool on trays and then serve!

Makes 16-18 cookies.