Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Snowball & Thumbprint Cookies

Finally! My first Christmas cookie post of the season. I blame my being late to the cookie party on being sick for the past few weeks. Yes, weeks. Some terrible, awful got the best of Scott and I (which I am still not completely rid of) and it has inhibited me from consuming the typical amount of sugar I would have by this time in December. Despite the mound of citrus and vegetables I have been consuming alongside detoxifying juices and vitamins galore, this cold has stuck. So I finally broke down and just baked some cookies. 

Struggling to come up with the perfect thumbprint cookie dough (you know, a buttery, shortbread-like but still moist cookie that melts in your mouth) it dawned on me that I was trying to find a dough that reminded me of another favorite Christmas cookie of mine, snowballs. So I had a crazy thought, and took my snowball cookie dough and turned it into thumbprints! Holy moly guys did I strike gold with this one. I simply made the same cookie dough recipe side by side in two different bowls, one for snowballs and one for thumbprints. For the thumbprints I wanted the cookie to be slightly less dense than the snowball - and have a more rustic, nutty flavor - so I changed up the flours and decreased the overall amount of flour by a quarter cup. These cookies turned out INCREDIBLE. Better than I had imagined, and exactly what I was looking for in my thumbprints. The snowballs melt in your mouth and have the perfect level of sweetness. The thumbprints similarly melt in your mouth with a nutty, buttery shortbread like flavor paired with my two favorite preserves (raspberry and apricot). These will knock the socks off of anyone at your next cookie swap party, or holiday family gathering, or your own darn self seated on the couch with the Grinch playing and leaving you with a ring of powder sugar around your smiling mouth. I really should get a degree in constructing run-on sentences (sorry grammar police folk).

Yields 20 cookies per batch. 40 cookies total if you make both versions.

1 cup (2 sticks) Earth Balance vegan butter
1/2 cup organic powder sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups whole spelt flour
1/2 cup almond meal
1/2 teaspoon salt

*Additional powder sugar (optional)
*Jam or preserves for filling

1 cup (2 sticks) Earth Balance vegan butter
1/2 cup organic powder sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 1/4 cup light spelt flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
optional 1/2 cup chopped pecans

*Additional powder sugar for rolling

Preheat the oven to 400 F.

Beat the butter, powder sugar, and vanilla together until smooth. Add the rest of the dry ingredients and mix with a fork until the mixture resembles pea sized crumbles. Using your hands, mash the dough together until it is a thick, but workable, dough. Shape the dough into tablespoon sized balls and place on a lined cookie sheet.

If making thumbprints, press your thumb into the center of each cookie dough ball, making a well. Bake for 10 minutes (or until the bottom edges begin to brown) then remove from the oven and let cool before dunking the tops in powder sugar (optional) and filling with a teaspoon of your favorite jam or preserves. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, or on the countertop for 2-3 days (for best texture and flavor).

If making snowballs, bake the cookie dough balls for 10 minutes (or until the bottom edges begin to brown) and let cool on the counter before rolling in powder sugar. Store in an airtight container on the counter for up to 5 days (for best flavor and texture).

1 comment:

  1. I just made these and they were fantastic! Thank you as always Jessie