Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Cornmeal Thumbprint Cookies

Anyone who knows me knows that I really don't bake. I don't completely hate it, I'm just not very good. I have successfully produced maybe two batches of cookies in my life. Enter my new found social life, and the holiday season. People expect you to bake. You are a lady. Therefore you bake. It's that simple. And while I love the whole Suzy Homemaker image (i'm a little bit more Siouxsie Homemaker if you don't get this joke, you were never goth), I have just always sat a little left of the definition of "lady". I have, however put monumental effort this year into proving my boobs are not phony. My first cookies, Honey Almond cherry shortbread were such a marvelous success, that I didn't have a panic attack when I was invited to a cookie exchange. Instead I turned to the goddess of all things Suzy Homemaker-like and checked my last holiday issue of Martha Stuart Living. I selected the cranberry thumbprint cookies, and decided to make a little change. While Martha would never allow the jam to be store bought i didn't feel quite like a foray into homemade jellies quite yet. Luckily my friend Jessica made me some superb South Carolina grown strawberry jam, so i settled on that.

Vanessa's Cornmeal Thumbprint cookies

1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1 stick (4 oz) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
1 large egg, separated

Preheat oven to 350degrees.
then make the cookies!
Whisk (or mix with a fork) flour, cornmeal, and salt in a medium bowl. (I insist it be a cute one. Makes cooking look better) Beat the softened butter and 1/4 cup sugar in the mixer on med until pale and fluffy(2min- ish). Add orange zest and egg yolk. Mix well. Turn the speed to low and slowly add the flour mixture. I recommend spooning it in. Mix until combined ( at this point I found it to be a smidge dry. I added 1 tbl egg white and 1 tbl water until it all suck together and stopped being so grainy. this is really important in a second)
Lightly whisk egg white. Scoop 2 tsp. of dough and roll into a ball. Dip into egg white and then the 1/4 cup and 1 tablespoon sugar. Place it onto your parchment* covered cookie sheet. ( *or tinfoil if that's all you have in my case) Press gently at the center with your thumb just to flatten the round a tad. Repeat till you sheet is full (12-16 cookies) then use the end of a wooden spoon to add an intent to the center of the dough balls.
Bake for 16-17 min. I found that I went all the way to the 17 min. I probably made my cookies too thick though.
Heat your jam in the microwave for 30 seconds or so. I'm really super specific. You can see why baking is not my forte here. After the cookies are baked and yummy, spoon a bit of the hot(!) jelly/jam/ stuff into the indentation of the cookies. Repeat with second batch. Makes 24-30 cookies.

WARNING!!!! Let the cookies cool FULLY before you attempt to take a bite. The little f*%$kers are extremely hot, and the jam is sticky, and runny. You will burn the ever loving daylights out of your lips. Not that I would know by experience or anything...

Enjoy your delicious cookies.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Cold and Quick

Brrrrrrr! It getting so cold out! Just getting these shots was incredibly difficult! My toes were numb!

Also, Hello winter static. This was a new experience with my bangs. A two inch chunk in the middle of my face spent half of the day sticking straight up, the other half plastered to my face. I have to figure out a way around that. I love how I had no feet in these photos. The tiny hill I was standing on had really soft ground and I kinda sunk into the grass. So let's just assume I was wearing some Loubutins or something.

Dress: Gift from my sister (from JAPAN!)
Belt: Vintage
Slip: Forever 21
Tights: doubled for warmth, Target
Shoes: (unseen, not Loubotins) Vintage Ferrigamo courtesy of SoCo Antiques
Necklace: Corvidae

Here's hoping for slightly warmer weather.

P.S. How do you guys like the new look? I played for a long time to find something I was happy with. Let me know what you think!