Cornmeal Thumbprints With Tomato Jam 24.000

Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post

Holiday Cookies 2016 Dec 1, 2016

Here, a corn bread sweetness meets the tang of tomato jam. The cookies look holiday-festive but would be suitable as anytime nibbles with cocktails.

Make Ahead: You'll have leftover tomato jam, which can be refrigerated for up to 1 month. The cookie dough needs to be refrigerated for at least 2 hours and up to 24 hours. The cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.


Servings:
24 cookies

When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 24 cookies

Ingredients
  • For the jam
  • 1 1/2 pounds red, round tomatoes
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest plus 3 tablespoons fresh orange juice (from 1 large orange)
  • 1 tablespoon peeled, grated fresh ginger root (from a 2-to-3-inch piece)
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 4 whole cloves
  • For the cookies
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 large egg, separated into white and yolk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup flour, plus more for the work surface
  • 3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup lightly toasted chopped pecans (see NOTE)
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar

Directions

For the jam: Fill a bowl with ice and cool water.

Score a shallow X in the bottom of each tomato. Place the fruit in a pot of boiling water for a minute or two, then drain and place the tomatoes in the ice-water bath.

Once they're cool enough to handle, peel them and discard the skins. Hull and chop the tomatoes, transferring them and their juices to a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the sugar, apple cider vinegar, orange zest, orange juice, ginger, sea salt, coriander and cloves, stirring to incorporate. Once the mixture is bubbling at the edges, reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook for about 45 minutes or until the mixture has thickened a bit. Discard the cloves. Let cool for 20 minutes, then transfer to a container and refrigerate until ready to use. The yield is about 2 cups; you'll need 1/2 cup for this recipe, and the rest can be refrigerated for up to 1 month.

For the cookies: Combine the butter and confectioners' sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer or handheld electric mixer; beat on medium speed for several minutes, until light and fluffy. Stop to scrape down the bowl. Add the egg yolk and vanilla extract; beat on low speed until incorporated.

Lightly flour a work surface.

Combine the flour, cornmeal, lemon zest, kosher salt and nutmeg in a separate bowl; gradually add this mixture to the butter mixture, beating on low speed until just blended, to form a soft dough. Turn the dough out onto the floured surface; knead four times, then shape it into a 1-inch-thick disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 to 24 hours.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone liners.

Stir together the pecans and granulated sugar in a small bowl. Lightly beat the egg white.

Shape the dough into twenty-four 1-inch balls. Dip each one into the egg white, then coat in the pecan mixture. Space the balls at least 1 inch apart on the baking sheets. Use your clean thumb or the small end of a melon baller to make an indentation at the center of each dough ball that's large enough to hold some jam.

Bake one sheet at a time (middle rack) for 10 minutes, then remove from the oven and reinforce/re-press the indentations. Spoon some tomato jam into each indentation. Return to the oven; bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

NOTE: Toast the pecans in a small, dry skillet over medium-low heat for a few minutes, shaking the pan as needed to avoid scorching, until the nuts are fragrant and lightly browned. Cool completely before chopping.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from "The Southern Cookie Book," by the editors of Southern Living (Oxmoor House, 2016.)

Tested by Beth Diaz.

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