Ugh. I did something decidedly UNhealthy last night.
I baked christmas cookies.
And not the kinds of cookies that I sometimes post about…no bizarre, sugar free, vegan, all whole grain concoctions. Nope. These were traditional, butter+sugar+white flour cookies.
I wanted to bake a “Thank You” present to a few of the professors who had been particularly supportive throughout my time at Yale, a way of saying “I appreciate your mentorship, even though I’m leaving.” I’m not sure why our society thinks that unhealthy mixtures of deliciousness are the appropriate thing to give as a way of saying thank you or I’m sorry or I love you. I remember when my dad passed away someone sent a fruit basket amid the heaps and piles of baked goods. I loved it, and after all this time it’s the one condolence gift I remember.
But I digress. The point is, I baked a lot yesterday, which was hard, given that our kitchen is basically imaginary. I like to say our oven is “fun sized,” but really I just mean it’s half the size of a normal oven; so baking large quantities of things takes twice as long.
I didn’t even get hungry for lunch yesterday; I spent the whole day barefoot in the kitchen (future stereotypical wife material?!), baking up a storm, making about five million types of cookies (okay, that’s an exaggeration. Sort of). And then felt incredibly lousy for the rest of the night and ended up with a horrible headache. Once again affirming my decision to mostly stay away from refined sugar and flour.
But if you’re feeling indulgent and are less sensitive to sugar than I am, perhaps you would enjoy this rare (from me) unhealthy recipe? Thumbprints are my favorite cookies that my mom made growing up, mostly because they were a fun one for me to help with. I still love them and normally insist she make a double (or triple…) batch so that I don’t need to worry about other people eating them before me.
Thumbprint Cookies (recipe adapted from Betty Crocker)
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Active Time: 25 minutes
- 1/2c (1 stick) unsalted butter, soften
- 1/4c dark brown sugar, packed
- 1 egg, separated
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1c sifted all-purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp salt
- about 1/2c finely chopped walnuts (food processor is your friend for this)
- fruit jelly (flavor your choice; I love raspberry)
1. Preheat oven to 375. Cream together the butter, sugar, egg yolk, and vanilla extract. Beat until relatively light.
2. Slowly add in the flour and salt, stirring until well-mixed.
3. Roll the dough into small balls, about 1 inch in diameter each. Dip each ball first into the egg white (it’s helpful if the egg white is lightly beaten) and then into the chopped walnuts. Place each ball onto a greased cookie sheet.
4. Bake for five minutes. Remove from oven and press your thumb gently onto the top of each cookie, making a gentle indent. Return to the oven and bake for an additional 8 minutes.
5. Allow the cookies to cool on a cooling rack. Gently spoon in small dollops of the jelly of your choice into each cookie.
6. Try not to eat the whole batch in one sitting.
As a fortuitous coincidence, I found out after all my baking that yesterday was national cookie day!! Did any of you celebrate?