February 10, 2020

Dry Fruits Thumbprints

Makes 24 medium-large cookies

1 cup unsalted butter or refined coconut oil at room temperature
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg
2 teaspoons orange blossom water (I used fresh lemon juice)
1 teaspoon rose water
1 & 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup coconut flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
2 teaspoon baking powder

Dry Fruit filling ( adapted with tweaks from Real Simple)
1 cup raisins
8 dried dates, pitted
¾ cup red wine, warmed
½ teaspoon orange zest (from 1 orange)
2 tablespoons melted butter
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon salt

To assembly
A couple tablespoons of milk for brushing
1/2 cup ground roasted hazelnuts
1 tablespoon brown sugar
Powdered sugar for sprinkling before serving (optional)

Make the dough first as it will need to chill and you can prepare the filling while it does.

In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar on medium-high speed for about 3 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla, orange blossom water, rose water, and egg and mix until just combined.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour(s), salt, cardamom, and baking powder.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in two batches (three or four if you double the recipe), stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. If it doesn't all come together, use your hands for the last bit of kneading to incorporate all of the flour. Turn the dough onto a piece of plastic wrap and press it into a disk. Wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours, until firm but still flexible.

Meanwhile, mix raisins, dates, and red wine in a bowl, pushing down fruit to submerge. Let stand for 30 minutes. Drain, reserving 2 tablespoons wine; transfer to a food processor. Add orange zest, 2 tablespoons melted butter, and ½ teaspoon cinnamon and ¼ teaspoon salt; pulse until a thick but spreadable paste forms, about 15 times. Add back reserved wine and mix everything very well.

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lay raw hazelnuts out on a cookie sheet and roast 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Let cool completely on the baking sheet (they’ll keep cooking until cooled). To remove the outer skin, rub with a clean kitchen towel once cool (We don’t mind the skins, though!). Place cooled hazelnuts into a food processor and process until finely grounded, add brown sugar and mix.

To make each cookie, wet your hands and break off a walnut-sized piece of the dough. Roll into a ball and then flatten between the palms of your hand to about 1/3 inch thick, make a hollow in the center of each with your thumb. Using a pastry brush wet sides with a milk and roll sides into sugar-hazelnut mixture. Place on a parchment-lined cookie sheet 2 inches apart and fill with about 1/2 tsp of the filling mixture. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling.

Refrigerate the cookies for 45 minutes, until firm.

Bake the cookies for 25 minutes (20 minutes convection), until the undersides are golden. Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool completely. Dust the cookies with the powdered sugar if you desire and serve. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.

Idea comes from https://omgyummy.com/date-and-walnut-thumbprints/

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