Monday, May 10, 2010
I'm definitely a seasonal girl. And what I mean by that is I truly love all four seasons....Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall. Fall is by far my favorite; however Summer runs a close second. Coming from Michigan, I truly got to experience all four seasons my whole life and I loved it. I will say that I was a little nervous about moving to the South because while a lot of people hate it, I actually enjoy Winter (for a short time). Nothing beats a white Christmas but come February, I'm ready for it to dissipate and to see nicer weather. Unfortunately up there though, you never actually know when Spring has sprung officially. For instance, they have had a pretty mild Winter this year and even hit record highs of 80 degrees last month. But now, it's May and they're freezing and expecting a dusting of snow while we're down here in 94 degrees and sun! Hmmm....I think I got the better end of the deal on this one!
Being a seasonal girl, I definitely have seasonal tastes; most people do. Come September and October, I am SO ready for anything and everything pumpkin-flavored! But now that it's Spring and Summer, I prefer charred food from the gill, juicy fresh fruit and coconut! I get on these coconut kicks as soon as the weather turns warm and the sun is beating on my face. I don't know what it is, but coconut looks, tastes and sounds like Summer and I have to have it in just about everything!
Any recipe I come across or think up in my head, often involves coconut. Even if the original recipe doesn't call for it, if it's Summer, I'll find a way to incorporate it in! So you can imagine that I was in heaven when I came across this recipe for Coconut Thumbprints! I've never been much of a thumbprints person; I don't mind them but they tend to be a little "much" for me....too much buttery flavor and too much sweetness from the jam. But I decided to try these out and found myself pleasantly surprised! They definitely have that traditional buttery flavor like most tea cookies; however the coconut brings in a mild sweetness and really balances that flavor out. I used strawberry jam because it's what I had on hand and it was a nice pairing to the coconut. I'll confess, I can only eat one of these suckers at a time because they still can be a little "much" for me but hey, it's a good weight loss strategy, right?! Make things you aren't obsessed over and you'll eat less...at least, that's what I tell myself!
2 1/2 cups Flour
3/4 cup Shredded Coconut
1/2 Tsp. Baking Soda
1/2 Tsp. Salt
1 cup Unsalted Butter, at room temperature
1 1/4 cup Sugar
1 Egg Yolk
1 Tsp. Vanilla Extract
In a food processor or blender, process the coconut with a few pulses to chop it up a bit.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt. Add in the coconut and mix well.
In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy (about 2-3 minutes). Add in the egg yolk and vanilla; mix well. Gradually add in the flour mixture, beating on low, until it is incorporated into the cream mixture.
Using hands, form the dough into a ball and place back in the bowl, covered with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 15 minutes. Preheat oven to 350F.
Roll the dough into 1-inch balls and bake on a parchment lined baking sheet for 14 minutes. Remove from the oven and using your thumb or the back of a melon baller, make a dent in each cookie. Fill each cookie with jam and place them back into the oven for 10 more minutes.
Remove cookies from oven and let cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack to finish cooling.
Note: I used Strawberry Jam to fill the cookies; however any jam you have on-hand or want to use can be substituted.
Yield: 32 Cookies
Source: Adapted from Culinary Concoctions by Peabody, originally adapted from FoodandWine.com