Homemade Pop Tarts

Are you ready for a truly horrifying confession? Here it comes. Brace yourself. I have never eaten a pop tart. Never. <GASP!> Oh the humanity!! Now I suppose people of a certain age who all had mothers vacuuming in pearls and cooking 6 hour roasts for dinner every week will not find this shocking. But I was born in the 80’s. I grew up during the boom of ease, convenience and microwave meals. I played my Commodore 64 wearing the only Esprit sweatshirt I owned and thought I was the height of technology and fashion. Pop tarts are pretty much considered an essential breakfast food for my generation. [Read more…]

Thumbprint Cookies

I love this recipe for an old standard – thumbprint cookies. I have always hated the “thumb” part of making thumbprint cookies – my thumbs are not anywhere near the proper shape. Reshaping the imprint halfway thru baking with the back of a measuring teaspoon makes for nice even round hollows to fill with delicious jam. Also, the cream cheese in this recipe makes for a light cakey cookie which complements the richness of the sweet jam center.

Thumbprint Cookies

Thumbprint Cookies (America’s Test Kitchen)

1/2 C raspberry (or any flavor you like) jam
2 1/4 C all-purpose flour
1/2 t salt
1/2 t baking soda
1/4 t baking powder
12 T unsalted butter, softened
2/3 C sugar
3 oz (6 tablespoons) cream cheese, softened
1 large egg
1 1/2 t vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350°. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Fill a small ziploc bag with the jam. Whisk the flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder together in a medium bowl.

In large bowl, beat the butter and sugar together with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3-6 minutes. Beat in the cream cheese, egg and vanilla until combined, about 30 seconds, scraping down the bowl and beaters as necessary.

Reduce the mixer speed to low and slowly add the flour mixture until combined, about 30 seconds.

Working with 1 1/2 t of dough (about a small melon baller) at a time, roll the dough into balls and lay them on the prepared baking sheets, spaced about 1 1/2 inches apart. Make an indentation with your thumb (wet your thumb in water to prevent sticking) in the center of each cookie. Don’t worry if it’s not perfect – you’re going to do a second indentation halfway thru cooking.

Bake the cookies, one sheet at a time, until they are just beginning to set and are lightly browned around the edges, about 10 minutes. Remove the cookies from the oven and, working quickly, gently reshape the indentation with the bottom of a measuring teaspoon. Snip a small corner off the bag of jam and carefully fill each indentation with about 1/2 teaspoon of the jam. Rotate the baking sheet and continue to bake until lightly golden, 12-14 minutes.

Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely, about 30 minutes before serving.

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