Not being one to do the whole “big date” thing, I prefer spending romantic afternoons sipping tea, reading books, and just enjoying quiet company. And with Valentine’s Day around the corner, my mind can’t help drifting to the thought of flowers; I absolutely adore floral flavors: lavender ice cream, violet chewing gum, and rose water jellies spring to mind immediately. But as I find my offers of ice cream, gum, and jellies getting turned down by friends left and right, it has become clear to me that floral flavors can be a polarizing force; pushing the fans of that delicate top note to one end, and the “it tastes soapy” camp to the other. So to celebrate Valentine’s this year, I thought I’d whisk up some of my boyfriend’s favorite cookies with a little rose-y twist. The Raspberry Rose Thumbprint cookies rolled in almonds are a simple spin on an old favorite (and last forever in your freezer) and the delicate crumb of rosewater madeleines my seem like an intimidating force, but honestly it’s like whipping up pancake batter (you can make it ahead of time and let it sit in the fridge!) and makes the perfect dunking partner for some green tea. Enjoy!
Raspberry Rose Thumbprint Cookies
Makes 3 dozen cookies
12 oz unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 brown sugar, packer
1 large egg
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup finely chopped toasted almonds
3/4 cup raspberry rose jam
Ingredients for the Raspberry Rose Jam
2 pints raspberries
1 pint blackberries
1 fragrant rose, or 2 teaspoons rose water
1 cup sugar
1 lemon, juiced
For the raspberry rose jam, combine the raspberries, petals from the rose (or rosewater), lemon juice, and sugar over medium. Once the mixture clings to the back of a spoon and takes a second or two to ooze together after you stir through it, the mixture is ready to jam. Meanwhile, boil you jars and their tops in water for at least 10 minutes, then allow them to dry out on a clean kitchen towel. Pour it into the jars, seal tight, and turn upside down. Once the jar as come to room temperature, store the jars in the fridge.
Preheat oven to 350. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until smooth. Add egg, and beat until completely combined. With mixer on low, add flour, and mix just until incorporated. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill until firm (at least one hour).
Shape dough into 1-inch balls and roll them in the chopped almonds. Set them on a greased cookie sheet. Moisten your thumb with water, and gently press the center of each ball, making an indentation about 1/2 inch wide and inch deep. Spoon about 1/2 teaspoon of the jam into each indentation. Bake until cookies are golden brown around edges, 18 to 20 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack, and let cool completely. Enjoy!
3 large eggs, at room temperature
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup flour, plus more for dusting
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon rosewater
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
9 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature, plus additional melted butter for preparing the molds
Brush the indentations of a madeleine mold with melted butter. Dust with flour, tap off any excess, and place in the fridge to chill. In the bowl of a standing electric mixer, whip the eggs, granulated sugar, rosewater, vanilla and salt for about 5 minutes until light in color and thickened. Sift the flour and baking powder over the batter, gently folding it into the batter to incorporate. Next, drizzle the butter into the batter, a few spoonfuls at a time, while simultaneously folding to incorporate the butter. Don’t over mix it and cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
To bake the madeleines, preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Put enough batter in the center of each indentation to fill it by about 3/4′s. Do not spread it. Bake for 8-9 minutes or until the cakes just feel set. Remove from the oven and tilt the madeleines out onto a cooling rack. Try to let them cool to room temp before noshing, but I won’t say anything if you can’t help yourself. Enjoy!