“I like redheads. Their mouths are like a drop of strawberry jam in a glass of milk.” – Roger Sterling (about Joan)
I love that quote. I think the writers give Roger all of the best mildly inappropriate one-liners. Like, “when God closes a door, he opens a dress.” Oh Roger.
Image from AMCTV.com
You scoundrel, you.
His quote inspired me to make a thumbprint cookie in a heart shape with strawberry jam and a pale cookie base. They have a nice, delicate crispiness to them, but are still chewy. Vanilla bean in the cookie base makes for a powerful flavor boost! With the fun heart shape, these are also perfect for Valentine’s Day!
Speaking of…how to make that distinctive heart shape, you ask? I imagine you could use your pinkie finger and wing it, but I’m a bit more exact than that. And, I have a husband who humors me and is always looking for an excuse to use his workbench in the garage. So, he made me this:
Pretty, it is not. He explained his choice of medium, mainly because it was food/water safe. I stop listening when he gets technical, so I don’t remember much more than that. He loves me anyway though. Here is what the cookie look like stamped:
If you don’t have a handy husband or simply aren’t a crazy perfectionist like myself, you can use your finger or anything heart shaped to create the indention. It will spread anyway, so that will help hide any imperfections!
- 1¾ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup unsalted, softened butter
- ⅔ cup white sugar, plus additional for coating
- 1 egg
- ½ of a vanilla bean, seeds scraped from the pod, or 1 teaspoons of vanilla extract
- ⅓ cup seedless strawberry jam
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Beat the butter and sugar together for about 5 minutes. The batter will become very pale. Beat in the egg and vanilla seeds/extract. Slowly add in the dry ingredients, mixing until just combined. At this point, I chilled the batter because I wasn’t going to bake the cookies that day. The dough was relatively soft, so you may want to chill it for a bit in the fridge.
- Make 1 inch balls of dough and roll in white sugar and place on cookie sheet. Using a heart-shaped tool or your finger, create the heart shape. Repeat for all of your dough balls.
- Fill each cookie with ½ to ¾ teaspoon of jam. I used a ziploc bag with the corner cut to pipe the jam into the cookies. It worked well for me and I just tried not to fill them too much.
- Chill the cookies in the freezer for about 5-10 minutes. My cookies still spread a bit, but miraculously, I had no jam spillage, which is a common complaint with thumbprint cookies. I can’t definitively say it was because of the freezer time, but it couldn’t hurt to try it out.
- Bake your cookies for about 15-17 minutes, until edges are golden brown.
Find more Mad Men inspired treats here.