Tag Archives: jam

Twenty Five Days of Cookies:

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Christmas is just five days (gulp) away and what better way is there to countdown to the big event than to feature a cookie recipe each day? Think of it as a cookie recipe advent calendar. And to fill that advent calendar I’m featuring twenty five of my favorite holiday cookie recipes that are sure to fill your holidays with cheer. Bake them to fill your cookie trays, bring them to a cookie swap or eat them yourself; they are guaranteed to bring about holiday joy. And if you love baking as much as I do, making them is a fun filled gift unto itself. Enjoy!

Here’s another one of my holiday favorites.  These bite sized cookies from King Arthur Flour are easy and fun for kids to make while being sophisticated enough for even the most refined of adult palates.  I rolled my cookies in shredded coconut but finely chopped nuts would work just as well.  The cookie filling is jam so you can be flexible and use whichever flavors you prefer.  For a colorful contrast I used strawberry and apricot but fig, blueberry, and pineapple preserves are also good.  Perhaps you need to make a double batch and experiment.

THUMBPRINT COOKIES

1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

2 eggs, separated

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup almond flour

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup shredded coconut

3/4 cup jam, jelly, or preserves of your choice

  • In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugars together until very light.
  • Beat in the egg yolks, vanilla, and salt.
  • Add the almond flour and all-purpose flour, stirring until well blended.
  • Cover and chill the dough for at least 1 hour.
  • Pre-heat the oven to 325 degrees and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  • In a small bowl, whip the egg whites until foamy.  Place the shredded coconut on a plate.
  • Break off bits of dough and roll between your hands to form 1 inch balls.  Dip the ball in the egg whites then roll in the coconut.
  • Place the cookies 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet.  Use our thumb to form an indentation in the top of each cookie.
  • Bake the cookies for 12 to 16 minutes or until they are golden brown.  Remove the cookies from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool.
  • Fill the thumbprint with jam, using about 1/2 teaspoon per cookie.

Yields: 5 dozen cookies

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Thumbprint Cookies

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Here’s another one of my holiday favorites.  These bite sized cookies from King Arthur Flour are easy and fun for kids to make while being sophisticated enough for even the most refined of adult palates.  I rolled my cookies in shredded coconut but finely chopped nuts would work just as well.  The cookie filling is jam so you can be flexible and use whichever flavors you prefer.  For a colorful contrast I used strawberry and apricot but fig, blueberry, and pineapple preserves are also good.  Perhaps you need to make a double batch and experiment.

THUMBPRINT COOKIES

1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

2 eggs, separated

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup almond flour

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup shredded coconut

3/4 cup jam, jelly, or preserves of your choice

  • In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugars together until very light.
  • Beat in the egg yolks, vanilla, and salt.
  • Add the almond flour and all-purpose flour, stirring until well blended.
  • Cover and chill the dough for at least 1 hour.
  • Pre-heat the oven to 325 degrees and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  • In a small bowl, whip the egg whites until foamy.  Place the shredded coconut on a plate.
  • Break off bits of dough and roll between your hands to form 1 inch balls.  Dip the ball in the egg whites then roll in the coconut.
  • Place the cookies 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet.  Use our thumb to form an indentation in the top of each cookie.
  • Bake the cookies for 12 to 16 minutes or until they are golden brown.  Remove the cookies from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool.
  • Fill the thumbprint with jam, using about 1/2 teaspoon per cookie.

Yields: 5 dozen cookies

Blackberry Pork Chops

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It is Fast Friday again and time for another fast and fabulous dinner suggestion. If you are anything like me, by the time Friday rolls around the last thing you want to do to cook a big meal yet we all still have to eat. The dishes featured in this series aren’t necessarily fancy but they bring together simple ingredients most people already have in their pantries or have easy access to and allow you to put a real meal on the table in between 30 and 45 minutes. Enjoy and if you have your own fast recipes you want to share, please send them my way and I will in turn share them with all of my readers.

This super easy dinner idea is adapted from Cooking Light Magazine.  I’ve been making this recipe for years and it is always a family favorite.  Because you use thin pork chops, it only takes a matter of minutes for the meat to cook making them a perfect weeknight dinner.  During Glenn’s last assignment we would regularly invite the geographic bachelors from his ship over for a home cooked dinner and these pork chops quickly became the most requested meal.  Because I had a very large pan I would triple the recipe to feed the crowd.  But the pork chops work just as well for a fancier meal; I’ve used boneless pork chops and served them as a part of a formal sit-down dinner.  Regardless of the audience, they are always a hit.

BLACKBERRY PORK CHOPS

2 tablespoons olive oil

4 bone-in thin cut pork chops

Salt and pepper

1 small shallot, minced

4 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 cup Port

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1/3 cup seedless blackberry preserves

  • Add 1 tablespoon of the oil to a large skillet and heat over medium-high heat until shimmering.
  • Season the pork chops on both sides with the salt and pepper.
  • Add the pork chops to the skillet and cook for 3-4 minutes per side until the chops are browned and no longer pink in the middle.  Remove from the pan.
  • Add the remaining oil to the skillet and heat until shimmering.
  • Add the shallots and garlic and stir until brown and fragrant, about 1 minute.
  • Add the Port and stir to remove the browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
  • Add the balsamic vinegar and the preserves and stir until the jam is melted.
  • Return the pork chops to the pan and cook until heated through.

At this point you can reduce the heat to low, cover the pan, and allow the pork to sit for up to 1 hour until ready to serve.

Serves 4

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