Thursday, November 18, 2010

Pistachio Thumbjams with raspberry filling

It's no denying the time for holiday baking is upon us...too soon you say? Never too soon around here, where we began making our little cookies a couple of weeks ago. We'll be in full swing with them by the end of next week. To get myself warmed up I decided to take on the Holiday Cookie Challenge put forth at by Emilia Juocys. As we all try to get through this time with no Gourmet Magazine (thank goodness for my stack of back issues!) this will be a fun diversion. I thought long and hard about what I wanted to make and finally decided to use the bakery's very first holiday cookie recipe, pecan thumbjams, and give it a festive makeover. So here we have rolled the brown sugar dough in ground pistachios and used my homemade raspberry jam (perfect for it's bright red hue) to create one very merry cookie!

Pistachio Thumbjams with raspberry filling
yield 2 1/2 dozen 2" cookies
1 cup unsalted butter
1 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 cup of ground pistachios*
1 cup of raspberry jam- seeded

Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs and mix well. 
Add the flour, salt and lemon zest and mix until fully combined. Roll into 1 inch balls and roll each ball in the ground pistachios. place on a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet and press your thumb into the center to make a well for the jam. Spoon a bit of jam into the dent and bake at 325 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes, rotating the pan half way to ensure even browning. Cookies are done when edges are slightly browned. Let cool completely before carefull, the jam is HOT! These will keep for quite a while (4 weeks) in an airtight container, hidden away (this part is very important if you have a husband with a sweet tooth). Otherwise they are soo good, they won't last at all!

*the pistachios, I have to admit, were a little fussy. I could not find shelled nuts anywhere in my little town, so I shelled, then blanched, peeled, toasted, cooled and THEN ground them in a food processor. Good thing it is a holiday cookie, right?!

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