This time of the year is always my favorite time. Holiday season means cookie swaps, food bloggers swap and many more things related to food. Since few years, I have been participating in food bloggers cookie swap. It is exciting to be part of such a big swap happening in the blogging world. We have to sign up to be included and then you receive three different bloggers to send cookies to. And, three other bloggers send us cookies. Since, I had signed up I was thinking everyday what cookie to send out and also try out for myself. After giving a lot of thought finally decided to make almond thumbprint cookies since I saw them here.
I am so glad I decided to make these. They are so delicious. I already had cherry jam at home which I had preserved just about when the cherry season was going away. And, also because I wanted to gift some homemade stuff to friends and family specially my niece in India. You know, she just started eating real food. When you will read this post, I would already snuggling my cute niece in India.
Now, on to the recipe.
1½ cups all-purpose flour
1½ cups unsalted, roasted almonds
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
½ cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup raw sugar
1 or 2 pint Cherry Jam
4 cups cherries
2 cups sugar
¼ cup sugar free pectin (preferably fruit pectin)
Take chopped cherries in a deep non-reactive pot along with sugar and few tablespoons of water about 3 tablespoons. Let it cook on medium to high flame for about 10 minutes and then add the pectin and let it cook for about another 20 minutes. While cooking the jam, if you see foamy liquid rising up, please remove that with the help of a spoon. Meanwhile keep an empty spoon in the fridge to test out the consistency of jam we will need to use it. Once, you feel that it has cooked for some time and is coming along. Drop some of it on the cold spoon and let it sit for few seconds and then see if it thickens and is not runny on the spoon, it’s done. If it looks a little runny, then cook it for few more minutes. Make sure throughout the whole process, keep stirring it. Do not forget to stir it or else it might burn or stick to the bottom of the pot. I like to keep the fruits in the jam and not blend it into smooth jam consistently. I like pieces of fruits in my bites. You can top it off cheese, or blend it into smoothies, top it off your yogurt parfait. You can use it in many different ways.
You can always double the recipe or make it in half the quantities that I prepared. It makes about 9 pint sized bottles. If you plan on making large quantities then want to check it out here how to can and preserve the jams safely.
Preheat oven to 350 F. Line up almonds in a baking tray and roast them for about 5-7 minutes. Take them out of the oven and let them cool down. Meanwhile, keep the oven still on 350 F. You can follow this step ahead and keep the roasted almonds ready. Once cooled down, pulse them with all purpose flour in a food processor until the almonds are very finely ground. If you already have almond meal at home, you can skip this step and instead proceed to mix it with all- purpose flour and the other dry ingredients.
Mix in the baking powder and salt to this mix. Keep it aside.
Using an electric hand mixer cream the butter and sugar on high speed for few minutes until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, along with vanilla and mix it well. Blend in the dry ingredients at slow speed just until everything comes together.
At this point if you wish, you can store the cookie dough in the refrigerator or proceed to make the cookies. In a bowl take some raw sugar, if you do not have raw sugar you can use regular white sugar. I did the same as unfortunately I was out of raw sugar. But, if you can use raw sugar it would be best idea to use it. Take tablespoon full of dough and roll out balls. Roll them in the raw sugar and place them on a parchment lined baking tray or on a silpat mat.
Then, bake for 5 minutes and then take them out and carefully make an indent in the middle of each cookie. Do not burn yourself, it might be slightly hot. Bake for another 10 minutes until they are golden in color and let them cool on a wire rack. Once completely cooled off, you can top it off with your choice of jam or curd. I love the combination of cherry and almonds but you can try any other combinations like fruit curds.
Recipe adapted from here.
I would really like to thank you fbcookieswap for allowing me to participate and also to brand partners OXO for sending us these cute liquid measuring beakers and Dixie Crystals for the silpat mat. I would enjoy baking more now.
Also check out my Instagram account for all the delicious cookies that I received through. There are some amazing talented bloggers.
Please enjoy! Hope you like it! Happy holidays.