Thumbprint cookies

Raspberry jam thumbprint cookies are a classic holiday recipe.

When you read into this story today or tomorrow, we will be in the last month of another year, 2018, starting probably the most wonderful month, December — a month of weather that we have a hard time depending on, and the most important event of the year, a time when we try to be ready for the holiday that we celebrate, the time we often travel, the time we visit loved ones, the time we have wonderful programs and a time when we try our best to do our best.

And oh, yes, the time we try our best to cook, fry, bake and freeze whatever we are going to be serving to our families.

And that involves cooking:  turkey, ham, roast beef, pumpkin pie, vegetables that don’t grow at that time of the year and new things that we can set on the table on the very wonderful day.

But, while we try to do our best to make our best meal, one of the things that we are doing, maybe doing even more for that special holiday meal, we are making cookies. There are the old favorites, the easy and quick ones to make, the ones for school parties and for people who just dropped in for an afternoon visit.

Well, I have found several new ones that will fill a plate with tasty cookies. It came in the “Graphic” a week or two ago in a magazine that often appears in the usual paper, entailing a number of interesting things. This week the American Profile magazine had three recipes and just in case you didn’t find them or keep the paper, I will give you the ones I thought would be good to  bring out when company drops by on a cold winter day that will go well with hot tea or even coffee, and maybe some other “drink.”

  Raspberry jam thumbprints

“Every cookie platter needs a classic in the mix, and this favorite is sure to stir up nostalgia while making new friends.

— 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter softened

— 1 cup sugar

— 1 egg

— 2 tsp. vanilla extract

— 3 cups all-purpose flour

— 1/2 tsp. baking soda

— 3/4 tsp. salt

— 3/4 cup chopped pecans

— 1/3 cup seedless raspberry jam

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. In a large bowl, beat butter with electric mixer 30 seconds. Add sugar and beat until smooth. Beat in the egg and vanilla extract.

2. Add flour, baking soda and salt to butter mixture and beat on medium until smooth. If dough is very sticky, beat in a little more flour.

3. Pinch off pieces of dough and roll into small balls.

4. Place pecans on a plate and roll cookies in nut. Arrange about 1-inch apart on a baking sheet. Using your thumb to make a small indentation in each cookie. Spoon about 1/2 tsp. jam into each thumbprint. Bake eight minutes, or until golden. Makes two dozen.”

Peppermint crush cookies

“Loaded with two signature seasonal flavors, these cookies will make spirits bright anywhere you share them.

— 1 cup (2 sticks) butter

— 1 cup sugar

— 1 cup brown sugar

— 2 eggs

— 1 tsp peppermint extract

— 1 tsp salt

— 2-1/2 cups self-rising flour

— 2 cups chocolate chips, plus more for decorating

— 1 cup finely crushed peppermint candy canes

1. Preheat over to 350F

2. Combine butter, sugars, eggs, extract and salt and beat until just combined. Add flour. Stir in chocolate chips.

3. Shape dough into 2-inch balls. Dip tops in peppermint candy. Place candy-side up on a baking sheet. Bake on center rack 10 to 13 minutes, until puffy and lightly browned. Makes two dozen cookies.”

I believe, I almost bet, that regardless of where you serve them, be it a tea party, a school party, an unexpected company that one or both of these cookies will be talked about.

And so our month begins!

Joe Rhinehart can be reached by  e-mail at joeprhinehart@gmail.com.

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