There are mixed feelings out there for Valentine’s Day and I get that. Sure, we should appreciate our loved ones every day and seize every moment, not sparing our feelings for one day out of the year. I personally like that little nudge that prompts me to give my Valentine a few extra kisses before work and pick out a cutesy love card. I like writing down all of the mushy stuff I feel, but don’t say every day. This day doesn’t have to be about you and your significant other, though. It can also be a reminder to share your love for anyone special to you.
When I think back to past Valentine’s days, I remember the year that Marc bought a box of kid Valentine’s and wrote a different thing he loved about me on each card. It was really sweet. My most memorable Valentine’s day, though, was the year before I met Marc. I was 20 and not dating anyone. When I came home after a busy day of classes, my Dad had put a little box of chocolates and a nice card in my room that simply said “Love, Dad.” I was very surprised and it just made my day.
Share a little card and a treat with someone that makes your life special. It’s easy to take for granted that everyone in our life knows how loved and appreciated they are by us, but how often do we come out and say it?
These cookies are the key to my heart and I suspect the key to many hearts. Simple vanilla butter cookies surrounded by toasted almonds with a dollop of seedy raspberry jam. You’ll have the recipe memorized by the time you’re done and it makes the perfect small batch. Cookies are for sharing!
Recipe: Jam Thumbprint Cookies
Adapted from Nikole Herriott
3/4 C. toasted, unsalted almonds, chopped
1/2 C. unsalted butter, softened
1/2 C. granulated sugar
1 egg, separated
1 t. vanilla
1 1/4 C. all-purpose flour
pinch of sea salt
1/4 C. raspberry jam (INNA is my favorite)
1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F and prepare a cookie sheet with a silpat or parchment paper. Roughly chop toasted almonds and set aside.
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer (or with a hand mixer) cream the butter and sugar on medium speed until the mixture is pale yellow. Meanwhile separate the egg; put the egg white in a small bowl and set aside. Add the egg yolk and vanilla to the pale yellow butter/sugar mixture and continue to beat until light and fluffy. Add the flour and salt and mix just a few seconds more until the dough just comes together and easily holds together when pinched between your fingers.
3. Scoop dough with a full small cookie scoop or a small spoon and roll quickly between your hands until you have 15 dough balls. Lightly whisk the egg white and gather your chopped almonds and prepared cookie sheet. Roll each dough ball into the egg white with one hand and use the other to roll in the chopped almonds. Place finished dough balls on the cookie sheet and repeat. With your palm, slightly flatten each dough ball and then using your thumb or the handle of a wooden spoon, create a small indent for the jam. Using a 1/2 teaspoon measuring spoon, scoop the jam into each cookie.
4. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until lightly golden. Cool on a wire rack and store in an airtight container.