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Peanut thumbprint cookies August 28, 2009

Posted by sugarandbliss in cookies.
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Whip up a batch of these cookies and you won’t regret it. I promise. Fresh from the oven, they’re delicately crisp and light and the next day (if you can make them last that long!) they take on a smoother, almost creamy texture. They’ve got just the right amount of sweetness to them, especially when paired with your favorite jam or preserves. I used Smucker’s strawberry and rasberry seedless jams, but any homemade one would give it a special touch. The real twist to this cookie , though, is the incorporation of freshly ground peanuts, giving its unique texture and subtle nutty taste. The nuts are very finely ground, but I left few small chunks in the dough so as to give the cookies a bit of crunch. Ultimately, these cookies reminded me of my favorite comfort foods: a peanut butter and jelly sandwich but in a more sophisticated cookie form.

thumbprints

The original recipe called for ground honey roasted peanuts, but I didn’t have any on hand so I used plain, unsalted roasted peanuts instead. To make up this, I added some honey to a small portion of the dough in a separate bowl, but as I stared at the cookies cooling on the rack, I realized that I forgot to keep track of which cookies were honeyed and which ones weren’t. The difference must have been subtle, if any, because I couldn’t detect a contrast in taste between any of the cookies. Nor did any of the cookies brown much more than the others, as I would have expected with the addition of honey. So, note to self, make sure to keep track of any changes made to a separate batch the next time I try to get creative!

peanuts n flour

Peanut Thumbprint Cookies
adapted from Joy the Baker

makes 30-40 cookies

1 3/4 cup finely ground peanuts (use a food processor fit with a blade attachment. I used a coffee bean grinder.)
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
powdered sugar for dusting
about 1 cup jam of your choice

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and position a rack in the middle of the oven.  Line baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside

Whisk together ground peanuts and flour.

Using a stand mixer fit with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar together on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 or 4 minutes.  Add the extract and beat to blend.  Reduce the speed of the mixer to low and gradually add the nut-flour mixture, mixing until just incorporated.  Use a spatula to hand mix any flour or nuts that have not been mixed in thoroughly. Do not overwork the dough!

Working with about a tablespoon of dough at a time, roll the dough between your palms to form small balls and place the balls two inches apart on the cookie sheet.  Steadying each cookie with the thumb and finger of one hand, use use a teaspoon or your other thumb to make a well in the center of each cookie.  (I used a greased teaspoon) Be careful not to press all the way down to the cookie sheet. Spoon jam into the well of each cookie so that it is full but not overflowing.

Bake for 15-18 minutes.  The cookies will only be slightly colored and might even look underdone.  That’s fine.  You don’t want them overbaked. When the cookies are done, remove the baking sheet from the oven and let the cookies rest on the sheet for 2 minutes before transferring them to  cooling racks with a spatula.

Repeat with the remaining dough until all the cookies are baked off and cooling.

Sprinkle the cooled cookies with powdered sugar. Enjoy!

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