Thumbprints ... Christmas Cookies

Lately, I enjoy making cookies as Christmas gift which I usually do every year. Apart from gingerbreads, chocolate chip cookies and sugar cookies..I also made thumbprints as well.

The recipe is taken from "Baking from my home to yours" by Doris Greenspan, I chose this one because we love shortbread and the texture of this one is similar to shortbread. But I made some changes by using almonds and strawberry jam instead of hazelnuts and raspberry jam.

1 3/4 cup finely ground almonds
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp pure almond extract
Confectioners'sugar for dusting
about 1 cup strawberry jam

* I used vanilla sugar so I did not put the vanilla extract

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Whisk together ground almonds and flour.

2. Beat the butter and sugar together on medium speed until light and fluffy.

3. Add the extract and beat to blend.

4. Reduce to low speed and gradually add the nut-flour mixture, mixing only until it is incorporated into the dough.

5. Working with a teaspoonful of dough, roll the dough between your palms to form small balls and place them 2 inches apart on the baking sheets.

6. Steady each cookie with the thumb or the end of a wooden spoon to poke a hole in the center of each cookie.

7. Bake for 15-18 mins, rotating the sheets from top to bottom and front to back at the midway point.

8. When the cookies are baked, remove the baking sheets from the oven and let the cookies rest on the sheet for 2 mins before transferring them to the rack and sifting confectioners'sugar over them.

9. Repeat with the remaining dough, remember to cool the baking sheets before baking the next batch.

10. Bring the jam to boil in the microwave then fill it in each cookie's hole.

11. Cool to room temperature.

Let's enjoy the Christmas cookies.

I also think to send this Thumbprints Cookies to Susan of Food Blogga for season 2 of Eat Christmas Cookies (If I can because I just noticed that today is the last day I can submit) - a nice event Susan organizes,Announcing Eat Christmas Cookies, Season 2, http://foodblogga.blogspot.com/2008/11/announcing-eat-christmas-cookies-season.html


My 1st homemade croissants.

Yappy.... finally I can make croissants!!!

I have never thought to make croissants myself although we like to have them for breakfast. I always thought it was complicated and I didn't dare to make them. But, we got lot of butter in the fridge and I gotto get rid of them. So, I decided to make a trial.

I saw the recipe in the "Tartine" baking book for a long time and also my friend Pook told me that she have made it and it turned out so good.

After reading carefully for the recipe I told myself, "hmmm.. it seems a hard job to do but worth to try it"

AFter 2 days working on it, I can say that it's absolutely fabulous! The taste and the outcome are so good for me.

I would like to give all the credit to the writers in this book, they help the beginner croissants baking like me to reach my goal!

Thank you.


Apple and Raisin Jalousie .... something we cannot resist!

For us, apple is a queen for this season. There are many kinds of apple available in the supermarket. I have tried almost all of them but "Pink Lady" is still my favourite. For making the dessert, I prefer the one that so pity I cannot remember the name, the taste is sweet and sour.

I told myself that next time I go to this fruit stall; I will make a note for its name.

I made it at noon but we did not have any left for our dinner dessert! It’s hard to believe that but it’s happened to us!

I used the recipe from "Baking Bible” and I just changed only one ingredient to suit us.

For the rough puff pastry

225 g. plain flour
a pinch of salt
140 pliable butter cut into small cubes
6-9 tbs (85-140 ml)ice-cold water

For the filling

225 g. apples
30 g. unsalted butter
55 g. light brown sugar
squeeze of lemon juice
1 tbs rum ( I used this one instead of brandy)
55 g. raisins

To finish

caster sugar

For the rough puff pastry

1. Sift the flour with the salt into a large bowl. Using a table knife, toss he butter cubes with the flour.

2. Sprinkle 6 tbs of water over the flour and stir quickly with a table knife so the paste clumps together.

3. Using your fingertips to gather the lumps together, leaving any dry mixture in the bottom of the bowl.

4. If necessary, you can add water over any remaining dry flour to make it into a soft but not sticky paste.

5. Knead the paste lightly once or twice to bring it together into a smooth, even-texture paste.

6. Form the paste into a rectangle 2 cm. thick and wrap it in clingfilm or greaseproof paper. Chill for at least 10 minutes.

7. The butter must not be allowed to become hard or it will tear the paste when it is rolled out.

8. Give the paste a total of 4 rolls. (as before photo) If the paste still looks streaky after 4 rolls and folds it can have one more before being used. Allow the pastry to relax at least 10 minutes before using.

For the filling and finishing

1. Heat the oven to 220° C or 425° F

2. Roll the pastry ito 2 thin rectangles. One is around 13 x 20 cm. and the other should be 17 x 25 cm. Prick the smaller all over with a fork. Chill until firm.

3. Make a filling , Peel and core the apples and cut into large chunks. Melt the butter with sugar and allow to caramelize then add stir in the apples and lemon juice.

4. Cover with the lid and cook until the apples are tender but not mushy. Stir in rum and allow to cool. Stir in the raisins.

5. Bake the smaller piece of pastry until brown and crip. Remove from the oven and turn over the baking sheet and allow to cool.

6. Spread the filling all over it.

7. Lay the larger pastry on a board. Dust it lightly with flour so nothing sticks and fold it in half lengthways.

8. Using a sharp knife, but through the folded side of the pastry in parallel lines, at right angels to the edge. (it like when you were cutting between the teeth of a comb)

9. Leave an uncut margin about 2.5 cm. wide, all round the other edges, so when you open up the pastry you will have a solid border.

10. Lay the cut pastry on top of the pastry covered with the filling and tuck the edges. Brush the top layer carefully all over with milk. Sprinkle with sugar.

11. Bake for about 20 minutes or until well-browned. Save warm or cold.

Hope you enjoy. ^O^