My mom was an skilled baker, the kind who pulled out a minimum of a half-dozen or so recipes at Christmastime to arrange for household and associates. She even had sure cookie cutters for sure varieties: her gingerbread bears, for instance, or shortbread stars. I treasure the time I spent baking together with her as a child, once I was allowed to ice the sweet cane cookies and sprinkle them with crimson sugar.
You’ll suppose that a minimum of a fraction of my mom’s baking ability might need transferred to the subsequent technology, however you’ll be fallacious. I’d barely know the right way to recreate my mom’s pinwheel cookies (with two sheets of dough rigorously rolled collectively), or her excessive diploma of issue pizzelles. And as a lot as I really like shortbread, I’ve already confirmed myself to be a shortbread dummkopf. Nonetheless, why ought to my children miss out simply because their mother isn’t precisely Betty Crocker?
So when my children grew to become of baking age (round four or 5) I made a decision to pare down my Christmas cookie craziness into two varieties to go away on the plate for Santa: the traditional peanut butter blossom for my daughter the chocoholic, and for my son, the jam fan, I went with thumbprint cookies. I discovered an Epicurious recipe that was sufficient like shortbread however a bit extra forgiving (it added an egg), and I let every child decide their favourite jam for the filling.
The most effective half, after all, was the thumb half. When the children have been youthful, they may not consider I used to be really encouraging them to stay their fingers (properly, their thumbs) into the dough. It was like a mini, momentary model of the handprints I bought from their pre-school, besides scrumptious.
We nonetheless make these great cookies, though recently, these thumbprints are a little bit bigger (sob). However y’know, that simply means extra room for jam. I don’t have a stand mixer, so I admit that I begin combining the dough by hand towards the tip. I additionally don’t hassle with the confectioners’ sugar, however some years I add lemon extract, or almond, or scrape in some vanilla bean seeds. We’ve used quite a lot of jams and preserves from raspberry to apricot to blueberry. This yr, I discovered that the “spreadable” half in fruit unfold signifies that jam makes for a greater filling possibility. Hope Santa nonetheless enjoys.