Happy December! With the exception of the cold weather (I think I'm allergic) I love this time of year because to me its all about family and food, and by food I mean booze and sugar as they are the stars of the Christmas season (at least in my circles). This means that I spend this month spending quality time with family and friends, eating a sinful amount of sweets, and drinking a usually embarrassing quantity of alcohol.
So this month on Fro and a Fork, expect a lot of booze and a lot of desserts, and maybe a few giveaways because I like your face. For my first sweet of the season, I decided to take on a Christmas classic: the thumbprint cookie.
Thumbprint cookies are simple shortbread cookies that are topped with a bit of jam and traditionally served at Christmastime. They get their name because most bakers use their thumb to make the indentation for the jam topping. Of course I had to make this classic my own, so I bring you the middle fingerprint cookie.
One could say that I gave the finger to tradition with the flavors of this cookie. You see, my middle fingerprint cookie is rebellious (much like myself), bursting with spring flavors of lavender and lemon while maintaining the buttery richness expected of its traditional counterpart. But sass aside, I used my middle finger because I think it makes a deeper and better defined "well" to fill with jam (or in this case lemon curd) while maintaining a pretty cookie. I did try the traditional thumb method and it just looked weird so I'm glad I found another use for my middle finger. The end product was a slightly sweet, aromatic, zesty, and rich yet light cookie that would pair nicely with a nice cup of tea and a good book.
Do you want one? Well, in the words of Montel Jordan, this is how we do it (I highly suggest playing this song while you read the recipe or bake the cookies, just for fun):
Middle Finger Print Cookies
Yield: 20 fabulous cookies
10 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup of Lavender syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Zest of one lemon
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 1/4 cups of all purpose flour
1. Preheat your oven to 350 and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper (You don't have to use parchment paper, just do not grease the cookie sheet if you choose not to. I do recommend the parchment paper for easy clean up because sometimes the jam seeps out of the well)
2. Using a hand mixer (or a stand mixer if you're fancy) beat together all of the ingredients except for the flour. The mixture will be kind of awkward and lumpy given the consistency of the lavender syrup, but just go with it, I promise it will be fine.
3. Once the ingredients are mixed as best as possible, continue beating the mixture on low speed and slowly add the flour until it is incorporated and you have a dough.
4. Use a teaspoon (or a melon baller like I did) to scoop out small portions of dough and roll them between your hand to make a ball. Place the balls about an inch apart on your cookie sheet, then use your middle finger to make indentations in the middle of the cookie forming a deep well. Fill the well with about 1/4 teaspoon or so of lemon curd.
5. Bake for about 15 minutes until edges are golden brown and remove and allow to cool on a wire rack.
Click here for a printable version of this recipe.