Saturday, November 20, 2010
Egg-Free Cranberry Thumbprints
My son had a Thanksgiving celebration at his school yesterday. All the kindergarten students dressed up as Pilgrims and Native Americans and sang all sorts of songs, including "This Land is Your Land." It was absolutely adorable. Immediately after their performance, they feasted on popcorn, baby carrots, apple pie, pumpkin pie and juice.
I thought it would be a cute idea to bake a little something for them for all their hard work practicing for this event. I decided to make the classic jam thumbprints but with a little twist. As usual, I made an egg-free cookie dough but instead of rolling them in chopped nuts, I used wheat germ. Wheat germ has a sweet nutty flavor and it's very healthy and nutritious. I remember my dad used to sprinkle it over ice cream to give it a little crunch. I like sprinkling it over oatmeal or yogurt for breakfast.
To tie in with the Thanksgiving theme, I decided to mix in some dried cranberries into the jam. I used seedless strawberry jam because I thought it would complement the flavor as well as the deep red color of the dried cranberries. Other flavors that would probably go well with dried cranberries are seedless red raspberry jam, apricot preserves and orange marmalade.
The cookies looked so delicious! They were filled with glistening red cranberries and coated with wholesome wheat germ. I was ready to package them but I got a little ambitious. I also made some rich and buttery shortbread cookies. What can I say? When the kids are off to bed, I relax and retreat to my kitchen and bake. Well, that is if they haven't tired me out during the day (mommies, you know how it is). I packaged the cookies together in little treat bags and tied a bright satiny bow on top. I should have taken a photo but I forgot :-(
I think these cookies will be a nice little addition to the treat boxes I send out to friends and family during the holidays. That reminds me...I gotta start making my list...and checking it twice. Who's been naughty? Who's been nice? Hmmmmm....
Egg-Free Cranberry Thumbprints
Makes about 2 1/2 dozen cookies
Allergy Note: contains wheat and dairy ingredients
1 cup butter, softened to room temperature
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup sugar
8 oz. bar cream cheese
2 tsp. vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup wheat germ
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
wheat germ, about 1/2 cup (for coating)
1 cup dried cranberries
3/4 cup seedless strawberry preserves
Preheat the oven to 350 F degrees. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter, brown sugar, sugar, cream cheese and vanilla extract. Sift together the flour, wheat germ, baking soda and salt. Add them to the butter and sugar; mix until combined. Place some wheat germ in a small bowl. Using a cookie scoop, portion out the dough(about 1 1/2 Tablespoon) , form them into balls and then roll them in the wheat germ. Place them on the cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. Make a small indentation in the middle (I use the back of a 1/2 teaspoon measuring spoon) and bake for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, mix together the dried cranberries and strawberry jam. Remove the cookies from the oven (you may have to redo the indentation if it flattens out) and drop about 1/2 teaspoon of cranberry/jam filling into the center. Return to the oven and bake for an additional 10 minutes. Cool completely before serving.
Please note: I am not a paid endorser nor did I accept any freebies of the brands or products mentioned in this post. I just love them and wanted to share them with you :-)