Almond Shortbread Thumbprint Cookies

Almond Shortbread Thumbprint Cookies

“I’m really feeling shortbread.”

“What?” I glanced up at Allan, standing absent mindedly in front of the pantry.

“I’m really feeling shortbread. Like either buying some or making some or something.”

“I can make you shortbread.” I said, turning my head back to my laptop and pulling open the ever glorious Pinterest. “What kind do you want?”

“Those.” Allan gestured to the thumbprint cookie recipe with a perfect photo and even more perfect glaze crisscrossed over the cookies.

I mentally sighed. Did I want to spend an abhorrent amount of time on complex cookies that would get devoured in an afternoon? No. No, I did not. But Allan needed shortbread. So I strapped on my apron and got to baking.

First, let me kill any pre-conceived notions you may have (and that I also had) about thumbprint cookies. These are the easiest cookies I’ve ever made. They’re just about as easy as chocolate chip, and taste so good, you’ll never buy store-bought again. I thought they’d be more complicated since there’s the whole “fill-the-cookie-with-jam” part. But nope! Don’t be intimidated by them just because they look fancy. Instead, make them, and dazzle your fiends with your mad baking skills.

Second, Allan is obsessed with these cookies. He loves thumbprint, and since you can add any jam filling you’d like, we’ve made them with strawberry, raspberry, and now blackberry. These cookies have a strong almond flavor, which personally I’m a huge fan of. If you don’t like as strong of a almond flavor, or don’t like almond at all, you can always substitute out the almond for vanilla.

I originally found the recipe over on Cooking Classy, but have since modified it a tad for an even better recipe. Here it is below…

Cookie Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup salted butter
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 1/2 cup jam filling (baker’s preference, although I use raspberry or blackberry)

Almond Glaze

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 2 – 4 tsp water

Instructions

  1. For the cookies: Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, blend together butter and sugar until combined. They should change to a lighter color slightly as they become incorporated.
  3. Mix in almond extract then add in flour and salt until mixture comes together.
  4. Shape dough into 1-inch balls, about 1 Tbsp each, and place 2-inches apart on ungreased baking sheets. 
  5. Make a small indentation with thumb or round measuring teaspoon in each cookie. Fill each with 1/2 to 1 tsp jam.
  6. Chill in refrigerator 20 minutes (or freezer for 10 minutes). Bake in preheated oven 14 – 18 minutes.
  7. Cool several minutes on baking sheet then transfer to a wire rack to cool.
  8. For the glaze: Whisk all glaze ingredients together in a small mixing bowl, adding enough water to reach desired consistency. 
  9. Spoon mixture over cooled cookies, or pour into a sandwich size resealable bag, cut a small tip from one corner and drizzle.

Well, what are you waiting for? Go get to baking! I promise you’ll love these cookies, and if you don’ then at this point I really don’t know what to say other than “You’re missing out.” So far blackberry has been our favorite jam filling, but I think these would also be great with fig or apricot. If you try out something else, let me know!

Places of Peace

Places of Peace

I’ve been thinking a lot this week about peace. More specifically about places of peace in my home, where I feel at ease and calm, and more importantly, where I can breathe. I’ve started to contemplate having a home that is a sanctuary amidst chaos and the every day roller coaster of life.

Something new that I’ve started doing lately, is a daily routine that helps me stay on schedule and focused throughout the day. Part of that routine is spending some solid time in the morning doing yoga and meditating while I have a smoothie. I go through my planner and make a list of what I want to accomplish that day. This time has really become so vital to starting off my day. Sometimes I have music playing, and other times I like it silent, listening to the sounds of the world waking up outside my window. I started to notice how much I truly loved these quiet little moments of solitary peace. It’s like my brain could work properly and the noise in my head finally quieted down.

As someone who struggles with depression, and has a lot of problems with the negative voices in my head, being able to shut out the world for a while and enter a peaceful place is super important to my health. I need a place to release the tension and stresses that sneak their way into my daily life, and hang on like a traincar of baggage.

The best way I know how to do this, is having moments throughout the day where I can stop, breathe, and unplug. A re-charging session, if you will. In my house, there are three specific places that I define as Places of Peace. The first is my screened in porch. It’s a great spot in the morning, with a cool breeze and a cup of hot tea. In the afternoon, it’s bathed in sunlight, and Miracle, Bunty, and I like to lounge for a bit with good book. Another spot for me is my piano, where I play music that I’ve written, or from my piano books. Disney’s Hunchback of Notre Dame has been my most recent favorite. I like that I can get lost in the music. Everything else seems to fade away and disappear. I focus on the sounds and my fingers moving across the keys. Whether or not there are dishes in the sink doesn’t even cross my mind.

The third spot for me is my desk. When we moved into the apartment, I decided I wanted a desk right by the window (even though I didn’t even have a desk yet). I’m a huge fan of natural light, and the window ledge is the perfect height for Bunty to climb on up and keep me company. I usually do some work here, or occasionally do art or coloring. While it’s sort of a multi purpose space, I love that it’s my own little corner of sunshine and peace.

What is someplace in your home where you find peace? Someplace you find comfort and rest in, where you feel like you can breathe. Let me know about it!

A New Cosplay Mashup!

A New Cosplay Mashup!

Hey guys! So I’m super crazy excited to announce that I’m working on a little cosplay mashup! If you were paying attention around Halloween, you may have noticed that I did a little genderbend cosplay as Hades from Disney’s “Hercules”. I cannot believe how well it turned out, or the amount of compliments I got on the look. It made me quickly realize how much I loved cosplay and that I wanted to do it more often, not just for Halloween.

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Lemon, Almond, and Raspberry Layer Cake

Lemon, Almond, and Raspberry Layer Cake

Happy 25th Birthday to me! I love making my own birthday cake, and especially trying new techniques. It’s become a tradition for me to make my own cake for my birthday; I find a cake on pinterest that I want to try, and work my little cake magic. This year I decided on a lemon, almond, and raspberry layer cake, with cream cheese buttercream frosting, and a pink chocolate ganache drip. Delicious!

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How to Create a Gallery Wall

How to Create a Gallery Wall

Since moving into our apartment, it’s taken way longer than planned to get furniture in place, boxes unpacked, and pictures on the wall. We’ve been decorating, and adding new pieces of thrifted furniture to make this house feel like a home. Slowly each room is becoming more and more of how we want it to be, embodying more of who Chesh and I are. Continue reading “How to Create a Gallery Wall”