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Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Lemon Thumbprint Cookies with Cassis-Laced Raspberry Jam

What is Cassis, or creme de cassis, anyway?  There was no ingredient list on the bottle.  I found this explanation via the web, my new source for all things baking related.  It's made of the juice of blackcurrants*, or in Latin: Ribes nigrum.  Blackcurrants are berries, right?  I'll let you read about all the hoity-toity French pedigree of blackcurrants.  And, yes, it's "blackcurrant" and not "black currant."

I found this recipe looking for cupcake recipes on the FoodNetwork.  Huh?  It's a cookie called Raspberry Lemon Thumbprint Cookies.  From Emeril Lagasse, the "BAM Man."  It called for Chambord or kirsch, neither of which I had.  I didn't want to buy more booze.  This recipe only called for a bit, and driving to the store and purchasing it just wasn't in the cards at 7am on a Saturday morning.  No company, no shower, just me and the cat.  Nuf said.

So, I embraced the Jacqueline mantra: Substitution is Key.  And, then I proceeded with cassis! 

First, I mixed up the jam and booze.  I used an assortment of jams: Sarabeth's Strawberry Raspberry (my favorite store-bought that I buy at Home Goods or TJ Maxx), Smucker's Red Raspberry Seedless (I use this for my xmas cookie, Jellies) and my own home-made strawberry jam (I horde this stuff, really, not a generous bone in my body on this one...Mine-all mine).  I made a larger batch so that I could both bake some into the cookie and then fill the cooled cookies. 

No being a huge fan of the thumbprint cookie, I wasn't convinced these would actually work.  Well, as you'll see, they kinda worked and kinda didn't work.  I made them work in the end...Always the goal. 

Sift the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl.  You get the idea...

I separate my eggs the Nigella Lawson Way.  Easy.
A bit messy, but that's what your hands are for, right?

Cream the sugar and butter until light and fluffy.  Beat in the egg yolks, lemon zest, lemon juice and vanilla.

Add in the dry ingredients in 2 additions and beat until smooth.  You should have a soft dough that can hold together.  Form into 1 inch balls, pretty big actually.    Place on a lined cookie sheet.  Use something to make a well in the center.  I use a very old cork wine bottle stopper.  I've had this thing for years.  It's used once a year for my xmas cookie, Jellies.  This year, I'm proud to say it's now been used TWICE!  Gettin' my money's worth...

Fill the well with a scant tsp of the jam-booze mixture. 
Sorry for the fuzzy picture here.  You get the idea.
Bake them until set, about 20 minutes, no joke.  I then filled them while they cooled with more jam-booze goodness.  Honestly, these came out looking like hell, not all pretty and neat.  So, I improvised and I think they looked AND tasted better with both baked and non-baked jam-booze goodness.  Just sayin'.
Sorry for the blur. Believe it or not, my camera skills
HAVE improved since this shot. 
* Blackcurrants have a very high content in antioxidants and vitamins. In particular, they're very rich in Vitamin C.  Blackcurrants also contain several rare nutrients, like GLA (Gamma Linoleic Acid, a very rare Omega-6 essential fatty acid) and MAOI (Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors), and may be used in therapies against depression.  YAY! 
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