Friday, December 07, 2012
Posted by: Justine
This is another recipe that was inspired by my mom. Although they are a tad different, the general idea remains the same. You can basically look at this recipe and call it a sugar cookie with an indentation in the middle. These cookies were again, a bit of a gamble, and although they are absolutely delicious, they aren’t the prettiest cookies in the world. I blame the altitude because when I’m in doubt, that’s the easiest thing to blame. I was able to salvage a couple of them for a good picture though =). There were definitely some lessons learned in this recipe and I’m happy to pass along what I learned!
It was bound to happen. I’ve been really lucky here as of late. We haven’t had many mishaps except for the Walnut Chocolate Drop Cookie incident, which really wasn’t even an incident at all, but I’ve already explained that ordeal to you. So case in point, it was bound to happen. But this is the joy of baking, trial and error. You’ll eventually get it right as long as you keep at it.
Let’s talk about the good things. This cookie is amazing. It buttery and sugary and sweet. It has just that hint of saltiness from the sea salt that balances out the sweetness of this cookie. The coarse raw sugar as a coating and the dollop of the pineapple in the middle really tops it off. And I was able to make a few look pretty! My point is, a cookie doesn’t have to be beautiful to be delicious.
I have honestly never had a cookie stick to a cookie sheet before. They aren’t supposed to! They are so full of fat that it makes them almost impossible to stick! Unless of course you are making a cookie without fat, but who does that really? If you are going to eat a cookie, eat a freaking cookie. Am I right? Well anyway, my first batch definitely stuck to the pan. I blame the sugar. There is a A LOT of sugar in this recipe, and it doesn’t help that the outer edges are coated with coarse raw sugar. I would never remove this ingredient though. It’s just too good with it on there. Just spray the cookie sheet. I beg you, spray the cookie sheet, even if your inner baker is telling you “NO!” Because he or she will, trust me, I’ve been through it before.
Second lesson learned: add some milk. This dough is super dense, and well it’s supposed to be…it’s basically a sugar cookie, but in my opinion it’s almost TOO dense. The first time I made these, I didn’t put any milk in it. The cookies were still AMAZING, but I think it could have some used some more “moistness.” This isn’t in my original recipe at the bottom, but if you are kind of enough to be reading my ramblings, it’s your lucky day! Only a tablespoon or two should do it, but do it.
Third and final lesson learned: you want a thumbprint. This is the point of the cookie entirely. It’s supposed to have a thumbprint, but you don’t want to be digging a well with your finger so that the outer edges of the cookie crack. The cookie will not come back together in the form of a perfect little circle with no cracks in the oven. The way it looks before it goes in the oven, is the way it’s going to look when it comes out of the oven. So be careful when you are “printing.” You want the effect, but you don’t want a canyon.
As for the preserves (or jam), use whatever you like! Zach loves pineapple, so I made these specifically for him, but you of course don’t have to use pineapple. I made half of my batch with apricot because it’s obviously the best preserves out there, but use raspberry or blueberry or whatever your little hearts’ desires. I don’t care what you use, but use something!
*Please Note* I promised I would tell you if there is some inactive time involved in our recipes, and indeed there is in this one. Please notice that in my allotted “prep time” there it says “1 hour and 40 minutes.” Again, this does not mean it takes 1 hour and 40 minutes to prep. It will only take you about 10 minutes, but you should allow the dough to sit in the fridge for at least an hour and a half.
Happy Friday Everyone!
- ½ cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- 1½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoons fine sea salt
- coarse sugar for rolling
- pineapple preserves for filling (about ¼ cup total)
- In the bowl of your stand mixer (fitted with the paddle attachment), cream together the butter, oil and sugar. Add the vanilla extract and mix well.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour and the sea salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet gently and mix until incorporated.
- Fold the dough into a ball and wrap with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 1 hour and 30 minutes at the least.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a cookie sheet with a non stick spray (Cookies aren’t supposed to stick because the amount of fat in them, but these tend to…better to take precautions). Set aside.
- Remove the dough from the refrigerator and begin pulling off small pieces and rolling them into 1 inch balls. Roll the balls in the coarse sugar and place on the cookie sheet. If you find the sugar isn’t sticking to the balls, make a quick egg wash and douse the balls in the egg wash first.
- Repeat this step until the dough is gone. With your thumb, make an indentation in the middle of each cookie. Press hard enough that the print is noticeable, but don’t press too hard or the dough will begin to crack at the sides.
- Fill each cookie with a tiny dollop of pineapple preserves (or whatever kind of preserves you like to use – I made half pineapple, half apricot).
- Bake at 350 degrees for 18 – 20 minutes until they start to very lightly brown.
- Transfer to wire rack to cool completely.