Tuesdays with Dorie: Thumbprints for us Big Guys

So after last week’s break from Tuesdays with Dorie we are back!  This week’s recipe was chosen by Mike of Ugly Food Dude (http://uglydudefood.com/ ).  Thumbprints – sounds delicious.  The kicker with these cookies is that the starch base is half flour and half ground hazelnuts.  The other ingredients are basically butter, a bit of sugar and some vanilla and almond extracts (oh yeah and jam for the filling – duh).  I didn’t feel like buying hazelnuts to grind up for this, especially because I had ground almonds waiting for me in the freezer.  I figured that if I had to add in almond extract anyway it wouldn’t make much of a difference.  Luckily,  I had exactly 1 3/4 cup of almond (the correct amount) so not only did I save a bit of money, time and effort, I also helped clean out the freezer (let me tell you – that is a Job – with a capital J).

I decided to make these cookies on Thursday night while M. and I watched Inglourious Basterds, this way, when it gets to violent, I could busy myself with the cookies and I wouldn’t have to look (I am not a fan of Quentin Tarantino violence).  I was giving S. her bath when I realized that I had no margarine – of course it’s almost 8:00 and the store closes then.  I sent M. out to go get some, he left with some grumbling about why don’t I just buy an entire case of margarine and freeze the darn thing so that I always have some.  By the time S. was in pajamas, the margarine had arrived and I was ready to go.

As you can see, the dough, once it is all mixed is rather crumbly.  It should hold together though, when you make a ball.  I carefully made the balls and then tried to make the “thumbprints”.  In the book, Dorie recommends to make the holes with the back of a wooden spoon or your pinky.  I assumed that that meant that the cookies would fall a bit as they cooked, and the hole would open more.  When I cooked them though, they really did not move.  I mean there is no leavening agent in the dough – not even an egg –  but I assumed that maybe the margarine would melt a little.  Either way, all that happened was that I was left with a rather narrow hole to fill with jam, no biggie.

These are my cookies waiting to be baked, don’t they look pretty?

I was worried that the jam would not set and would stay sticky, but apparently the solution that I have been missing all my life was to just heat the jam until boiling, and then carefully pour a little bit into the cookie.  When it cooled, it was nice and set – a tad sticky, but it wouldn’t move or drip and that is what is important.

So when we finished watching the movie, and the cookies were all ready to be eaten and all the dishes were washed, I asked dear Hubby what he thought of the cookies.  He proceeded to give me “pointers”.  He mentioned that the holes were too narrow and that the circles were not perfectly shaped, and then, as a good husband should, he followed it with a supportive hug.  He told me that he would do anything to support me and help me in any way he could (awww!).  I then offered him a cookie to taste test. He hesitated.  Uh oh.  He gave me a look, like, “Do I have to?”.  I proceeded to repeat to him what he had just told me and, oh yeah, I won this one.  He took a small bite, then another.  Then he said that the cookie was too sweet.  I was like, “How could it be too sweet there is only 1/2 cup of sugar in the whole thing!”  So he replied, ‘Then what is that texture I am tasting?” “Oh, you mean the almonds?”  He immediately put down the cookie and, with a hurt look on his face, said, “You know I hate nuts!”

So as supportive as he may be, it may take some time to get his tastebuds to accept new flavors.  It was worth a try!

P.S. the cookies were awesome and we brought them to my in-laws’ for the weekend – even my father-in-law, who is one of the pickiest eaters I know, loved them.

For the recipe check out Mike’s blog here and see what other TWD bakers did here.

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