Monday, December 24, 2012

Trio Cookies

Yes, I have about 50 cookbooks lining my living room wall. No, I don't cook from them all. At least a dozen of them I've never made one recipe from. But I love flipping through them, taking one idea from here, another from there, taking inspiration from a chicken dish and turning it into one with turkey or tofu. But there are some cookbooks that inspire devotion - some that when I turn the page, and see a photo, and say "I must make that" - I mean it. Which is what happened when I got the Gourmet Cookie Book - and found the recipe for these adorable jam trio cookies.

Part cookbook, part history book, the Gourmet Cookie Book takes the best cookie recipe the magazine printed from each year, 1941-2009 (its unfortunate demise) - with some background on each year and reason. In 2007, Gourmet took the idea of the basic thumbprint cookie - a buttery dough with a dab of jam tucked in an indent in the center, and elevate them to almost an art form, with three small conjoined cookies and three different jam varieties.
The basic steps are simple and familiar, but the extra touches require a little bit more time, so schedule at least an hour for forming and baking, plus an hour of chill time in the fridge beforehand. But the oohs and aahs from your guests will be worth it. Use any three types of jam - or even the same type if you want, but I like the look with three different colors. Of course, mine ended up looking not even close to as perfect as the book's photo, but they were gobbled up just the same.

Happy holidays to all!

Recipe: (Makes about 40 cookies)
from the  Gourmet Cookie Book

2 sticks (1 cup) butter or margarine, softened
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups flour

Beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
Add in the egg and vanilla and salt and mix together until well combined.
Gradually add in the flour and mix until it is all incorporated.
Divide the dough in two and form it in to two disks, wrap them in plastic wrap and chill at least 1 hour.
Roll teaspoonfulls of dough into small balls, then flatten them to about 1/2" thick, and place three together - their edges touching - on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
Using the end of a wooden spoon or the bowl of a small measuring spoon, press an indentation into the center of each ball. Fill each indentation with about 1/8 teaspoon of jam, being careful not to over fill.
Bake on 350 F for 15-20 minutes until golden brown on the edges.
Let cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. 


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