20 September 2011

broken baking

Though I may rag on my parents about the lack of excitement NJ has to offer (compared to BK that is,) I actually have a lot of pride in my home state and kind of really like it.  My mom and dad are always trying to get me to come and spend some time with them and even though this probably isn't exactly the kind of visit they had in mind, they've been helping me make the most of it by filling up my days with all the awesomeness the jerz has to offer.  After making breakfast with Aunt Patty on Friday morning, I was treated to some tasty Pierre's pastries from my oldest friend, Brian.  Later that evening, I headed to my old high school with the dad and my other half, Lady Baty, to watch the homecoming football game... honestly though, I just wanted to see the marching band.  They're doing Radiohead this year!!!  Really, Ginny?  They're my favorite band ever in the history of the world!  I would have rocked the heck out of Thom Yorke inspired flag feature ten years ago.

Saturday meant a tour of the grocery store and a trip to the movies to see Our Idiot Brother which was super funny.  Sunday was for a lazy breakfast, a haircut and a trip to the new Trader Joe's in town.  My mom warned me that Trader Joe's might be really crowded so I should stay close to the cart in case someone knocked me off my crutches.  She obviously hasn't been to the Union Square location recently.  After a quick checkup with a kooky, local doctor, my dad and I went out for a sushi lunch at the new spot around the corner from their house.  Being that I never thought of my dad as the most adventurous eater, I was pretty surprised that he let me order all the food and didn't shy away from anything that was served; not even the eel!  Next dad date, I'm taking him out for Indian food.

But as the afternoon turned into evening, I started to get a little bored.  Let's face it, just because cable boasts 300 channels, doesn't mean that there will be anything worth watching on any of them.  So I slowly hobbled around, rummaging through the kitchen cabinets, fridge and pantry and determined that I had all of the ingredients necessary to make a simple and delicious butter cookie.  Upon further investigation, I discovered a vast collection of jams and preserves that nearly rivals my own stock.  So my thoughts immediately went from basic butter cookies to dainty tea cookies!  Made entirely from scratch and almost completely on my own, I'd say that these scrumptious sweets were a complete success.  And they gave the entire house that amazing baked butter smell which, in turn, makes the cookies irresistible.

thumbprint cookies
3 1/2 c flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 c sugar
3 sticks unsalted butter
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg beaten with 1 tbsp water for egg wash
your favorite jam
1. In your mixer or with a hand mixer (yeah, my mom doesn't bake much so the house lacks a KitchenAid, bummer) cream the butter, sugar and vanilla until it's light and fluffy.
2. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour and salt.  Combine the flour mix with the butter and sugar until completely blended.
3. Wrap the dough and chill for at least 30 minutes.  While the dough is still chilly, pull pieces off and roll into little balls, about the size of golf balls.  Place on an ungreased cookie sheet about 2" apart.  Using your thumb, press down the center of the cookies to create a little dent.  In that dent, drop in about 1/4 tsp of your favorite jam.  Bake at 350 for about 20-25 minutes or until they start to look golden brown.  Cool before serving.  Seriously, make sure they've cooled because that fruit filling can get hot hot hot!

They didn't come out entirely perfect, but for a crippled cook, I'd say they were a pretty amazeballs feat.  Filled with orange marmalade, black cherry preserves, and strawberry jam, the thumbprint cookies were out of this world.  I almost couldn't wait to taste one and nearly burned my tongue on the bubbling preserves... another injury is the last thing I need.  It felt really wonderful to be back in the kitchen, back in my element.  Knowing that I'm able to accomplish a few of my favorite things (bake, do dishes, go to the grocery store) makes me feel like I'm really on the road to recovery.  And that makes me feel awesome!

the cook on crutches.


  1. Delish! Cookies are the world's healing power.

  2. They look so great, it brings me back to memories of my Czech Grandmother's Linzer tarts!

  3. Wow.. I must make these next time I bake! Thank you for sharing!