Monday, December 21, 2009

Very Merry Lemon Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies

Ahh... Colorado at Christmas. You can cut down your own Christmas tree. You can watch the sun set behind snow-capped mountains. And you can use your mom's Kitchenaid stand mixer to make holiday baked goods. What a perfect place to spend the holidays!

For round one of Kitchenaid-stand-mixer-enabled-baking my mom and I made Lemon Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies. These delightful little cookies are thumbprint cookies with "the volume turned up" (to quote the Barefoot Contessa). Adding lemon zest and juice to the dough turns these cookies into something special. And the combination of the lemon with raspberry (as always) is just dynamite.

Not only do these cookies look like holiday cheer, they are perfect to make with another person. What more could you ask from a Christmas cookie?

To make them... You start with your dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, and salt.
Now, if you can get your hands on it, break out your Kitchenaid stand mixer and add your room temperature butter and sugar.
Sit back as the Kitchenaid does everything for you.
(I am so in love with this appliance)

Next, add in 2 egg yolks, vanilla, (and the stars...) lemon zest, and lemon juice.
Beat that all together, until you have a heavenly-scented dough.
Add the flour in 2 additions.
Try to mix it just until it forms moist clumps. As ever, overmixing makes for cookies are tough.
Gather the dough together in a ball.
Form pieces of the dough into balls slightly larger than 1 inch.
Then, take the back of a 1/2 teaspoon and make indentations in the balls of dough.
And then you have the perfect well!
Grab some good raspberry preserves, jam, or jelly.
And spoon those preserves into the cookies.
Doesn't this cookie look splendid?
Pop those in the oven and enjoy how delightful they make the house smell. Pull them out of the oven when they are golden brown and transfer them to a wire rack.
Pretty, festive, made with a Kitchenaid... what a perfect holiday cookie!

Lemon Raspberry Thumbprint Cookies (from Emeril Lagasse)
1/2 cup raspberry jam or jelly (or preserves)
1 Tablespoon Chambord or kirsch (we skipped this)
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 sticks (1 cup) butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
2 large egg yolks
1 Tablespoon finely grated lemon zest*
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice*
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly butter 2 baking sheets.

In a small bowl, combine the jam and Chambord (if using). Stir to combine.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Whisk to blend.

In a large bowl using an electric mixer (or Kitchenaid with paddle attachment), beat the butter and sugar until light and creamy. Beat in the egg yolks, lemon zest, lemon juice, and vanilla. Add the flour mixture in 2 additions and beat just until moist clumps form. Gather the dough together into a ball.

Pinch off the dough to form 1-inch balls**. Place on the prepared baking sheets, spacing 1-inch apart. Use your floured index finger or 1/2 tsp measuring spoon to create depressions in the center of each ball. Fill each indentation with nearly 1/2 tsp of the jam.*** Bake until golden brown 16-20 minutes****.

Transfer the cookies to wire racks to cool completely.

*1 medium-large lemon should be enough for the zest and juice
**We did slightly larger than 1-inch balls. If you make 1-inch balls, you can get 4 dozen small cookies. We got slightly over 2 dozen larger cookies.
***We used slightly more than 1/2 a tsp for each cookie
****While the recipe says 20 minutes, we found that at 18 minutes, the cookies were perilously brown.

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