Sunday, November 16, 2008

Buttery Thumbprints with Citrus Curd

Candying lemon and orange peel led to lemon-orange curd and making curd necessitated the baking of cookies on which to put said curd. So, of course, I obliged.
I work in a food co-op in the part of the store where the magazines are displayed. It being a food co-op, nine tenths of the magazines are food related (the other tenth is split between yoga and politics) and a constant temptation. Now that the holidays are upon us, nine tenths of the nine tenths of the magazines are devoted to cookies. It was more than I could bear. Luckily for me, at the moment I was giving way to temptation, about to buy The Best of Fine Cooking: Cookies, my mom came in and bought it for me.
I adapted their recipe for Orange Cream Stars, a sandwich cookie composed of a delicious sounding, although as yet untried, orange butter cream sandwiched between two buttery star-shaped cookies. I didn't use the orange cream because the whole point of the endeavor was to use my citrus curd. As I said in my post on curd, I felt as though the curd could have gone a little longer, been a little thicker, so and I didn't think it would stand up to being sandwiched. I thought instead, thumbprints! So instead of Orange Cream Stars I made Lemon Cream Cheese Thumbprints with Citrus Curd.
For the cookies:
3 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 lb. unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 Tbs. freshly grated orange zest (I used lemon zest)
1 large egg yolk
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
12oz. all-purpose flour (My co-op has organic unbleached white flour with germ, which acts like 'regular' white flour but lends a pleasant nutty flavor to whatever you bake with it.)
Beat the cream cheese, butter, sugar, zest, yolk, and vanilla until fluffy, then add the flour gradually. I would recommend using a stand mixer.
To make stars pipe the dough onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment using a 1/2-inch star tip. To make the thumbprints I mashed down the stars' tips with a buttered 1/2-tsp. measure. They don't spread much, so you can put them quite close together.
Bake the cookies in a 350-degree oven until the edges begin to brown, about 20 minutes.
Set the cookie sheet on a rack until the cookies are cool enough to remove with a spatula without distorting their shape.
Once the cookies were cool I filled their dimples with curd. At first the curd seem too runny. I bit into a cookie and the curd started running down the side and down my front and onto the floor. After a few hours, though, the curd set up quite nicely and hopefully didn't cause my coworkers, the lucky recipients, any embarrassment.

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