Recipe:Cranberry thumbprints

Published: Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2012 - 12:00 am | Page 4D

Prep time: 1 hour 10 minutes, including time to make jam and chill time for dough

Bake time: 17 minutes per batch

Makes about 6 dozen

This recipe by Kim Gerber of Calabasas was a finalist in the 2011 Los Angeles Times holiday cookie bake-off.

INGREDIENTS

For the cranberry jam:

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons water, divided

1/3 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon orange zest

One 10-ounce package frozen cranberries

One 1-inch piece cinnamon stick

2 tablespoons cornstarch

For cookies and assembly:

2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour

1 cup all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons ground flax meal

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

1 cup sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon orange zest

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/2 cup coarse raw sugar (for rolling)

About 3/4 cup cranberry jam (recipe above)

Powdered sugar for dusting (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS

Make the jam: In a medium saucepan, whisk together 1/4 cup of water, the sugar and orange zest. Stir in the cranberries and cinnamon stick and bring to a low boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and continue to cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining 2 tablespoons of water with the cornstarch to form a slurry. Thoroughly stir the slurry in with the cranberry mixture and continue to cook for about 30 seconds, stirring constantly, to thicken.

Remove from heat and set aside to cool. This makes a scant 1 1/2 cups jam, more than is needed for the remainder of the recipe. The jam will keep, covered and refrigerated, for up to 2 weeks.

Make the cookies: In a medium bowl, whisk together the whole-wheat pastry flour and the all-purpose flour, along with the flax meal and salt.

In the bowl of a stand mixer using the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl using a hand mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg, then the orange zest and juice. Reduce the speed of the mixer and slowly add the flour mixture until thoroughly combined to form a dough.

Roll about 1 1/2 teaspoons of dough into balls. Roll each ball in the raw sugar, then place on parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing about 2 1/2 inches apart. Press an indentation into the center of each ball using your thumb or finger.

Refrigerate the sheets until the dough is hardened, 20 to 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Bake each sheet of cookies for 7 minutes. Remove each sheet, and quickly re-press the indentation in the center of each cookie using the handle of a wooden spoon. Continue baking the cookies until set and golden, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and cool on wire racks.

To assemble the cookies, place a small dollop (about 1/2 teaspoon) of the jam in the indentation of each cookie. Sprinkle powdered sugar over the cookies, if desired, before serving.

Per cookie: 62 calories; 1 gram protein; 9 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram fiber; 3 grams fat; 2 grams saturated fat; 9 mg cholesterol; 5 grams sugar; 13 mg sodium.

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