Cook this: 6 ingredient jam thumbprint cookies

Having grown up in a very Italian family, I love roasted chestnuts in winter. Nonno used to make them for us when we were kids, and I loved sitting at their dinner table, digging my little fingers in the split in the shell, peeling the charred layed off those golden little nuggets, and eating them until dad said I couldn’t have any more because I’d be sick. So, when I found St Dalfour at the Good Food and Wine Show a few weeks ago selling chestnut jam, I got more than a little bit excited. I only bought one jar, and have been kicking myself ever since!


I’ve been using a spoonful of it to mix through my porridge, along with a handful of blueberries and a sprinkle of cacao nibs, but I wanted to make something sweet to eat with a cup of tea as it gets colder. I also wanted something quick and easy, that I could make whenever I wanted them without having to get changed out of my PJs to go buy ingredients for. Same base recipe as the lemon cookies I posted a few weeks ago, but the secret ingredient is absolutely the jam – find a way to get your hands on some!!

Ingredients:
– 100g butter, softened
– 100g caster sugar
– 1 egg yolk
– 200g plain flour
– 1 tsp baking powder
– St Dalfour chestnut jam!

 

Method:
1. Preheat oven to 170° and line an oven tray with baking paper.

2. Beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until thick and creamy, followed by the egg yolk until completely smooth and combined.

3. Stir in the flour and baking powder until combined.

4. Roll the dough into balls (about tablespoon size works well) and space them out on the oven tray.

5. As the recipe might imply, press your thumb into the centre of each cookie to make space for the jam, and drop a little jam in each thumbprint.

6. Bake for 15min, or until golden brown.

Cook this: Vanilla bean powder Easter biscuits 

Happy Easter! I hope everyone’s enjoying the holiday, the time off work, the time spent with family and friends, the chocolate and other Easter treats! I’m a massive chocolate addict, but I figured there’d be enough chocolate going around for Easter, so I wanted to do something a little different; also, I know not everyone loves chocolate as much as me. I love baking cookies, and found some Easter themed cookie cutters I had tucked away in a drawer in the kitchen. I made a batch of tea cookies last week to bring in to work, and also visited Terra Madre recently where I bought some vanilla bean powder. Throw all of that together and you’ve got cookies made with vanilla bean powder infused butter, which can be made for any occasion, not just Easter  : )

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Ingredients:
– 100g butter, chopped
– 3 tsp vanilla bean powder (I get mine from Terra Madre in Northcote)
– 100g caster sugar
– 1 egg at room temperature
– 1 tsp vanilla extract (should have used more!!)
– 200g plain flour
  

 

Method – this is the same as the way you’d make the tea cookies:
1. Melt the butter and stir in the vanilla bean powder. Set aside until the butter has solidified again, but still soft – this will take around an hour or so.

2. Beat the soft butter (not melted!) and the caster sugar on medium/high speed with an electric mixer for around 3 – 5min, or until really smooth, lighter in colour and creamy.

3. Add in the egg and vanilla, and keep beating until totally combined and smooth (another minute or so).

4. Sift in the flour and mix until a thick dough comes together (you may want to use your hands to really bring it together) – roll that big clump of dough into a ball, wrap it in cling wrap, and sit it in the fridge for 30 minutes.

5. Pre-heat the oven to 170˚C and line a big baking tray (or 2 smaller ones) with non-stick paper.

6. Take the dough out of the fridge and roll it out between two sheets of non-stick baking paper to a thickness you’re happy with, and cookies out of whatever shape or size you want.

7. Lay them on the tray (they won’t expand so you can put them fairly close together), and bake for 12 – 15 minutes, or until they are just getting a light golden edge.

8. Let them cool for a 5-10 minutes on the tray, then transfer them to a cooling rack. Then, decorate as you wish! Clearly, as you can see above with that blue and red circled cookie, my decorating skills and steadiness of hand leave much to be desired hehehe

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